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Drones, also known as Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), are seeing a rapid rise in use across Australia. Technological development is enabling more, diverse applications of drones, from agriculture, to infrastructure inspections, to food delivery.

National Aviation Policy Issues Paper on Emerging Aviation Technologies

To enable and facilitate the rapid technology advancements in drones and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles, the Australian Government released a National Aviation Policy Issues Paper on Emerging Aviation Technologies for industry and broader stakeholder consultation.

This paper is the first step towards development of a national policy for the management of drones and other emerging aviation technologies. The paper identifies key opportunities and risks associated with these technologies, outlines some of the current approaches for managing these issues and proposes broad future policy directions.

The intention of the paper is to be the starting point for ongoing discussion and collaboration between government, industry and the broader community to develop a comprehensive national policy that will allow Australia to benefit from the considerable opportunities provided by emerging aviation technologies whilst effectively managing the risks and impacts associated with their use.

The public and industry were invited to provide comments and submissions on the issues paper. The department accepted submissions for review between 9 September 2020 and 31 October 2020.

Drones to deliver jobs and economic growth—Economic report

The department commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to quantify the potential economic benefits and savings broader drone use could have on the Australian economy over the next five, 10 and 20 year periods.

Key findings include:

  • Creation and support of 5,500 full time equivalent jobs.
  • $14.5 billion increase in GDP over the next 20 years – of which $4.4 billion would be in regional areas across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.
  • Cost savings of $9.3 billion over the next 20 years, with $2.95 billion of this in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries, $2.4 billion in mining and $1.34 billion in construction.

The full report can be accessed below:

  • Economic Benefit Analysis of Drones to Australia PDF: 1938 KB ReadSpeaker

Drone Links

The department has also conducted a review into the regulation of drone noise. You can find out more about the review at Noise Regulation for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA)—Drones

To learn about the current rules and regulations for operating drones please visit CASA's Know Your Drone site

For information on the applicability of privacy laws to drones, please contact the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner