North Dakota plans to open the first U.S. unmanned-flight airport this summer, reported Sally French for MarketWatch.com. She refers to North Dakota as the Silicon Valley of drones.

Drone research in North Dakota makes sense because it is some of the most open semi-level airspace in the country, and there is no reason that military drones cannot operate out of North Dakota, too.

The site is near Grand Forks. It is the Air Force Base that landed on the federal base closer list until it was decided to convert it to a drone center. At the top end, the converted site for drones could generate as many as 1,000 local jobs. The state of North Dakota reportedly has committed $5 million for infrastructure upgrades and another $7.5 million for runway improvements. The remainder of the $25 million total cost is planned to come from private investors.

There are several other university and private drone programs in the state. To read the whole article by French click here.