LOCAL

Osage LLC, DronePort Network enter contract

Pawhuska Journal-Capital

Oklahoma City based DronePort Network (DPN) has entered into a contract with Osage LLC to develop and manage Skyway 36. This facility and its adjacent land provide nearly 2,300 square miles of Class G airspace available for flight testing only four miles from downtown Tulsa Oklahoma.

Skyway36 features newly renovated hangar and office space, a 3,000-foot runway suitable for both small fixed-wing aircraft and helipad space for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVOTL) vehicles. The facility also has aircraft fueling on-site, adequate parking and an Osage Nation owned 40-acre light industry park ideally suited for manufacturing.

"We are thrilled about this new partnership with Osage LLC and Skyway36. This facility is nationally unique due to its proximity to an urban downtown complex and its future operation as a primary node to the Tulsa Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Flight Corridor. The vision for Skyway36 is a commercial test bed for the integration of autonomous flight technology into our everyday lives", said Craig Mahaney, CEO of the DronePort Network.

Osage LLC board member Rick Perrier shared, “We are excited to welcome Droneport Network to the Osage LLC team. As a top UAS and Advanced Air Mobility industry leader, DPN brings the knowledge, sophistication and business development skills necessary to advance Skyway36 into the future. With their focus on economic prosperity and job creation, we anticipate this new partnership to create high paying emerging technologies jobs in the Osage Nation.”

Skyway 36 is an important component in the Tulsa Regional Advanced Mobility (TRAM) Corridor project. It is one of four planned operating nodes, connecting Oklahoma State University (OSU), Osage and Tulsa facilities within a 114-nautical mile flight corridor for Unmanned Aerial System and Advanced Air Mobility research and testing.

The $38.2 million TRAM project is funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better American Rescue Plan. A coalition, led by the Indian Nations Council of Governments (INCOG), includes Tulsa area organizations from government, nonprofit, academia, and private sectors to cultivate a diverse hub for research, development, and production in the advanced mobility industry. Resulting in an anticipated creation of 30-40,000 jobs—the equivalent of $3.5-5 billion in economic activity—over the first 2-3 years.

The TRAM Corridor proposed four projects to attract and support growth in the advanced mobility space in Tulsa. The four projects include:

1. Establishing a 114 nautical mile, Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) commercial flight corridor;

2. Increasing research and development activity in the region by opening the LaunchPad Research and Technology Center located at Oklahoma State University-Tulsa, focused on developing new technologies to meet rapidly-evolving industry needs in the advanced mobility sector.

3. Increasing the region's skilled workforce through the funding of certificate programs, degree programs, and apprenticeships, as well as the development of a Labor Market Observatory to consistently track and align the needs of the Advanced Mobility industry to the region's talent.

4. Constructing a new industrial treatment facility that will treat over 4 million gallons per day of wastewater to make 2,200 acres of industrial property "pad-ready" to attract advanced mobility industries to the Tulsa Port of Inola.