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Northern Plains UAS Test Site announces new executive director

Former director Nicholas Flom accepted a position at another company, and Woods had been filling in as its interim executive director since October 2021.

Northern Plains UAS Test Site
Northern Plains UAS Test Site
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GRAND FORKS — The Northern Plains UAS Test Site announced Thursday, Jan. 27, it has selected Trevor Woods as its new executive director.

Former director Nicholas Flom accepted a position at another company, and Woods had been filling in as its interim executive director since October 2021.

Woods was previously the director of safety and was chosen by the Northern Plains Unmanned Systems Authority.

“We are very fortunate to have Trevor step up to take the reins at the NPUASTS,” said North Dakota Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford. “Trevor was there when the test site began and has been there every step of the way through the federal testing contracts, Grand Sky, BVLOS investments and now Vantis implementation. Trevor is at the top of this exciting new industry, and we look forward to more exciting announcements to come.”

Woods has been with NPUASTS since its inception. He helped pitch North Dakota to the FAA as a possible test site location while he was working at UND conducting UAS research. From there, he began work as the test site’s airspace manager and later was promoted to the director of operations in 2015. Later, he was promoted to director of safety and worked with the FAA on regulations and procedure for the test site. He also helped with the development of Vantis, North Dakota’s statewide UAS network, as well as designing the initial blueprints for a statewide beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) network.

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“I’m excited for this new challenge,” said Woods. “I’m incredibly confident in my team and what we’re capable of. We’ve already accomplished so much that was once considered impossible. Getting to be at the forefront of this industry is incredible – we get to shape the future.

He earned his bachelor's degree in aviation management and a master's degree in business administration from UND. He also has a commercial pilot license and is a certified flight instructor with instrument rating.

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