SkySkopes, a leading drone service provider, announced their expansion to Minot on Dec. 19, 2016. SkySkopes is a SkySkopes.pngnational leader in UAS flight operations and specializes in energy infrastructure inspections, security purposes, precision agriculture, industrial inspection, and other uses. SkySkopes was the first North Dakota startup legally approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly unmanned aircraft for business purposes and has grown to national and international operations. SkySkopes is dedicated to making the Minot office the UAS headquarters for Bakken operations.

“Welcoming SkySkopes to our Magic City is a huge achievement for Minot, as they will be the first UAS business to take advantage of our MAGIC Sky,” said Stephanie Hoffart, President/CEO of the Minot Area Development Corporation (MADC).
"Minot is the best North Dakota staging location for unmanned aircraft systems operations in the Bakken oil fields. UAS SkySkopes.JPGare set to play an important role in the inspections of oil and gas assets as they can complete tasks faster than traditional methods and keep humans out of harm's way. The Bakken is the second largest oil producing area in the United States, and Minot represents a serious opportunity for unmanned aircraft flight operators, manufacturers, and data analysts.  Minot also offers a friendly climate for business and UAS," said Matt Dunlevy, President/CEO of SkySkopes.

“I am very excited to welcome SkySkopes to Minot and to our business community,” Minot Mayor Chuck Barney said. “The opportunities Minot has to offer are unlimited, and I’m honored SkySkopes selected Minot for their first expansion in North Dakota. Minot is the gateway to the Bakken and will afford SkySkopes easy access to transmission lines, pipelines, wind energy and agriculture applications. We offer a great environment for sustaining their continued growth.”
On April 3, 2017 Minot City Council approved MADC’s MAGIC Fund request of $375,100 to establish Minot as the IMG_1785.JPGheadquarters for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) Bakken operations.  The project (driven by SkySkopes) will deliver countless benefits for the whole city of Minot; generating at least $2,307,856 in capital investments, creating 15 new full-time high paying jobs (at minimum), and will lead to additional opportunities for the Magic City. "The MADC was our first encounter with Minot in New Orleans at the AUVSI Xponential conference.  They were instrumental in opening our eyes to the impressive business environment in and around Minot.  The incentives offered by the MADC will help us build a successful foundation in the city," explained Dunlevy.
“I’m thrilled to see the excitement across the community for this project. This MAGIC Fund request will provide a strong return on investment and positively influence Minot’s economy, but the request also symbolizes the exciting potential for MADC’s MAGIC Sky Initiative. This project completely fits the purpose of the MAGIC Fund- to create jobs, expand the local tax base, increase capital investment, and expand the primary sector financial base of the area. Minot is extremely lucky to have an experienced and nationally recognized company like SkySkopes committed to making Minot the headquarters for UAS Bakken operations,” explained Hoffart.
The State of North Dakota has invested more than $37 million into development, marketing and attracting a UAS ecosystem; and Minot is truly at a tipping point to fill a niche in this growing industry and it all begins with SkySkopes.