ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Reader's view: UAC hub a huge opportunity for Duluth

I have watched over the years as Duluth has missed one opportunity after another. Within the next five to 10 years there will be another huge opportunity that will be Duluth's to lose. With U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar defeated, Leon Panetta moved to D...

I have watched over the years as Duluth has missed one opportunity after another. Within the next five to 10 years there will be another huge opportunity that will be Duluth's to lose. With U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar defeated, Leon Panetta moved to Defense and huge defense cuts coming, does anyone really think Duluth's 148th Fighter Wing will survive? What is available to replace or increase the revenue that the closure will entail and won't move

to China?

FedEx and UPS will soon realize they could save a boatload of money if they used large unmanned aerial vehicles to move intercontinental freight. The FAA, for various reasons (none of them valid, by the way), will not let large unmanned aerial vehicles land anywhere but on the northern edges of the United States.

Duluth is ideally situated to become a hub for these flights: We have a big, long runway and lots of land around our airport with an interstate, good rail access and a port with access to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans via the Northwest Passage (which will be ice free during summer months by then).

But Duluth is not the only potential location. The University of North Dakota at Grand Forks has positioned itself as an academic hot spot for unmanned aerial vehicles. The Grand Forks Air Force Base is transitioning to unmanned aerial vehicles and Customs and Border Protection already fly unmanned aerial vehicles from the Grand Forks airport. But Grand Forks does not have the transportation infrastructure Duluth has.

ADVERTISEMENT

So, there it is, as the Emperor said. Duluth has an opportunity and enough time to get proactive. Will we pursue it or will yet another opportunity slip through our fingers?

Garry Hooghkirk

Duluth

What To Read Next