DronePort Network joins Tulsa’s drone and AAM development plan

DronePort Network Tulsa

Aerial strategy and infrastructure specialist DronePort Network has formed a partnership with Osage LLC to develop and manage the large, multi-purpose Skyway 36 aviation facility, whose use by fixed-wing planes, drones, and next-generation passenger craft will be the cornerstone of the Tulsa Regional Advanced Mobility project (TRAM).

Backed by $38.2 million from the US Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better American Rescue Plan, TRAM seeks to provide organizations from government, nonprofit, academia, and private sectors with a large test bed for trials of a wide array of new aerial activities, including advanced air mobility services. DronePort Network says TRAM is expected to generate up to 40,000 jobs in the Tulsa areas, and between $3.5 billion and 5 billion in economic activity during its first years of operation.

Skyway 36 will serve as one of four planned TRAM operating nodes, connecting Oklahoma State University (OSU), Osage, and Tulsa facilities using a 114-nautical mile flight corridor for drones and advance air mobility craft.

Located just four miles from Tulsa, Skyway 36 features newly renovated hangar and office spaces, a 3,000-foot runway suitable for both small fixed-wing aircraft and as vertiports for drones and larger electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) craft. 

DronePort Network will use its business experience as a facilitator of forward-looking aerial projects by filling many of the strategic, management, and infrastructure gaps that tend to materialize when drone and other eVTOL aircraft companies band together in large, multi-discipliary programs.

“We are thrilled about this new partnership with Osage LLC and Skyway36.” said Craig Mahaney, CEO of the DronePort Network. “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 Flight Corridor. The vision for Skyway36 is a commercial test bed for the integration of autonomous flight technology into our everyday lives.”

According to a press release on the recent developments in Tulsa’s Skyway 36, DronePort Network said the project’s four main objectives initially will be:

  1. Establishing a 114-nautical mile, Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) commercial flight corridor.
  2. Increasing R&D 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 four 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.

“We are excited to welcome Droneport Network to the Osage LLC team,” said Rick Perrier, a board member of Osage, which is also working with organizations from The Indian Nations Council of Governments. “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.”

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