Gullknapp Aerial Center includes an international test and competence center for drones. Multiple companies are established at Gullknapp to test and find applications for new technology related to unmanned aviation. Gullknapp is well-suited for a drone center since the manned tower service ensures quick access to a controlled airspace. Gullknapp could also be a preferred training ground for the integration of manned and unmanned aviation.
In September 2018, OSM Aviation Academy opened a pilot school at Gullknapp. When in full operation, the academy will enroll 100 students of various nationalities. OSM has put in a order for 60 electric aeroplanes. Several of them will be located at Gullknapp. This could be the starting point for Gullknapp as an European hub for electric aircrafts.
Arendal Airport Gullknapp is part of Gullknapp Aerial Center. The airport has excellent conditions for take-off and landing. The runway is 1,199 meters long with 30 meters safety zones at both ends. A consession for expanding the safety zones to 180 meters at both ends has already been issued by the Norwegian Ministry of Transportation.
Gullknapp Aerial Center owns 2,000 acres of land in addition to the airport itself. 200 acres are regulated for general industry. Based on the airport, the pilot school and a drone center, the vision is to develop Gullknapp into a future-oriented industrial park that can become a technological spearhead, which in collaboration with industry and academia can expand within, for example, data center, artificial intelligence and biobank.
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