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2024 Fly-ND Conference Recap

May 08, 2024 13:02 | Anonymous

After ten long years, the 2024 North Dakota Aviation Association (NDAA) Fly-ND Conference returned to Grand Forks, ND. This year’s conference was a great success, with more than 300 attendees, 37 exhibitors, and nearly 40 first-time attendees – the most first-time attendees we’ve ever had – all coming together to celebrate the rich aviation culture of North Dakota.

 Themed “Beyond the Horizon,” the Conference took a look into the challenges and opportunities our industry is facing and how it is set to evolve in the future. What changed in the decade since the Fly-ND Conference had been to Grand Forks? Well, a lot – and conference attendees had the unique opportunity to see this firsthand, with guided tours of the Cirrus Aircraft facility and Grand Sky, the nation’s first commercial Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) business and aviation park, located adjacent to the Grand Forks Air Force Base. Grand Sky is home to a host of world-renowned aviation industry leaders, including General Atomics Aeronautical, Northrop Grumman, and the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, and it provides tenants with the ability to conduct large-scale beyond visual line-of-sight flights. Conference attendees were surprised to learn about this new era of aviation and technology and that North Dakota is at the forefront of this emerging technology integration.

 At the Opening Social, attendees had the opportunity to tour the University of North Dakota (UND) Aerospace facility and experience its flight simulators, altitude chamber, and spatial disorientation trainer. That evening, five individuals were also recognized and celebrated for their Gold Level achievement in the North Dakota Airport Passport Program. Congratulations to Jim O’Day, Nathan Sayler, Rodger Haugen, Connie Hanson, and Ray Brooks!

 In addition to the educational and informative breakout sessions for pilots, mechanics, and airport administrators, two general session panel discussions sparked great conversations and questions among attendees. UND Aerospace shared its experiences transitioning its fleet to UL94 (unleaded aviation gasoline), and a panel of UAS industry stakeholders discussed how collaboration between government and industry is transforming aviation for the safe and efficient integration of UAS.

 We capped off the 2024 Fly-ND Conference with the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame and Awards Banquet, celebrating Dan Kasowski’s induction into the North Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame, as well as recognizing the Devils Lake Regional Airport and Ashley Municipal Airport for receiving the 2023 Airports of the Year Awards! A special thank you to the Red River High School JROTC for the color guard presentation and to Nate Hance and NDAA Board Members Darren Hall and Devin Cole for the awesome live music performance that evening.

 The 2024 Fly-ND Conference was a great success because of you, the attendees, the sponsors, and the exhibitors. We sincerely thank all of you for your continued support and participation in our NDAA events, and a special thank you to our 2024 Fly-ND Conference Site Committee Members for all your efforts! 

Join us next year in Fargo, ND, at the Delta Hotel for the 2025 Fly-ND Conference, from Sunday, March 2 to Tuesday, March 4, 2025.

 Are you interested in helping plan next year’s conference or other NDAA events? Please reach out: we’re always looking for new ideas! Please contact us for more information, please email  

Tanner Overland, NDAA Chairman

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North Dakota Aviation Association

PO Box 627
Bismarck, ND 58502

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