The sky's the limit for the electric age of aviation

To encourage the uptake of drones and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles, the Australian Government has released a National Aviation Policy Issues Paper on Emerging Aviation Technologies.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the consultation process would help the Government implement a National Emerging Aviation Technologies Policy to support the development, jobs and growth of this emerging sector.

“There are many incredible opportunities currently being explored or trialled across the nation, including using drones to deliver medical items in regional Australia, tracking sharks around our beaches and supplementing firefighting efforts with drones to map bushfire movements,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“Australia has been a world leader in the adoption of drones and eVTOL technology, which has already helped many industries do things more safely and efficiently.

“We want to ensure Australia businesses are well placed to take further advantage of this.

“In order to unlock potential economic development and job growth, we want to support industries such as agriculture, construction, mining and emergency management to reap the rewards of using this technology.

“We want to enable a co-ordinated, flexible and efficient operating environment to foster innovation, whilst making sure the sector is safe, secure and considerate of communities and local environments.

“I am encouraging industry and interested parties to engage with this consultation process, because we know forming collaborative partnerships will be critical to successfully managing this technology.”

The release of the National Aviation Policy Issues Paper on Emerging Aviation Technologies has been welcomed by industry.

Dr Reece Clothier, President of the Australian Association of Unmanned Systems, Australia’s largest industry advocacy group for drones, welcomed the opportunity to work proactively with the Australian Government towards realising the full potential of these new aviation sectors.

“Industry collaboration and a whole-of-government approach will be key to the success of the industry and we welcome the opportunity to work with the Australian Government to develop an approach that enables the innovation of these aircraft while appropriately addressing the risks and impacts,” Dr Clothier said.

Eric Peck, CEO of Swoop Aero, an Australian drone-powered health logistics firm with successful medical drone delivery operations in five countries from Africa to the South Pacific, praised the Australian Government’s commitment to supporting emerging technologies in the aviation sector.

“By enabling industry to work closely with the Government, this national policy development will support the future innovation needed to create jobs and build a sustainable sector, with benefits reaching across the economy, including healthcare and social services delivery,” Mr Peck said.

Submissions to the National Aviation Policy Issues Paper on Emerging Aviation Technologies are due by 31 October 2020. Further details are available at www.infrastructure.gov.au/drones.

Media Contact:

Deputy Prime Minister – Dean Shachar 0418 202 860