Better connecting regional Australia through advanced aviation industry

Aerial electric vehicles and advanced freight drones could take to the skies sooner after the Australian and Victorian governments agreed to develop a safe and sustainable Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM) industry – to increase regional connectivity, deliver high-speed emergency response services and create new jobs.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will see the Federal Government and Victoria work together to foster the long-term growth of an AAM industry in Australia.

AAM uses revolutionary new aircraft to transport both freight and passengers between places that have traditionally been underserviced by conventional aviation.

This could include automated electric air taxis to reduce traffic congestion in urban areas, better connections for regional communities and drones to carry out time-critical updates during bushfire emergencies when it’s unsafe for piloted aircraft to fly through smoke.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said supporting advanced air mobility will benefit regional communities, emergency and healthcare services, and freight and passenger transport.

“The memorandum of understanding will support opportunities for industry to bring innovative technologies to Australia, building regional connectivity and creating jobs,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“People who choose to live in regional areas should not be disadvantaged or cut off from the goods and services they need, particularly health care. Developing this industry will ensure regional Australians are better connected to major cities and the services they rely on.

“The Commonwealth agencies have agreed to actively work to establish a safe, sustainable and resilient advanced air mobility industry, including collaborating with Victoria on creating an operating environment that will help industry achieve regulatory readiness.

“This builds on the Federal Government’s $35.7 million investment in the National Emerging Aviation Technology Policy Statement to support the use of emerging aviation technologies, addressing priority community, mobility and cargo needs in regional Australia.”

Victorian Treasurer and Minister for Economic Development Tim Pallas said the state has strong existing capability across AAM sectors, such as aerospace, defence, software development and advanced manufacturing, as well as significant expertise in emerging aviation technologies through work done by leading Victorian universities.

“We want to ensure that this new industry can develop and operate safely and meet the needs and expectations of the community,” the Victorian Treasurer said.

“Victoria has long embraced innovation and this partnership will put us at the forefront of a new industry which will create thousands of jobs as sustainable aviation technologies emerge.”

“Advanced Aerial Mobility has enormous potential for Victoria, bringing the latest technology to our health and emergency services, as well as improving connectivity.”

The MoU is between the federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Airservices Australia and Victoria.

The Federal Government is open to agreeing MoUs with other state and territory governments where it would support emerging aviation technologies.

More information on the Australian Government’s National Emerging Aviation Technologies policy is available at www.infrastructure.gov.au/sites/default/files/migrated/aviation/technology/files/national-emerging-aviation-technologies-policy-statement.pdf.

Media contact:

Deputy Prime Minister – Antony Perry | 0477 971 654 | Antony.Perry@infrastructure.gov.au

Treasurer Pallas – Kieran Jones | 0421 031 900 | Kieran.Jones@minstaff.vic.gov.au