Drone Delivery Operations—Australia
CASA has given approval to Wing Aviation Pty Ltd (Wing) to operate delivery drone operations in Gungahlin, Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Logan, Queensland. Wing is a certified drone operator, and all Wing employees who operate drones hold remote pilot licences. Further information on CASA’s safety regulatory approval process is provided on CASA’s website at www.casa.gov.au.
Under the Air Navigation (Aircraft Noise) Regulations 2018 the department also undertook an assessment of Wing’s proposed operations in Gungahlin and Logan.
The department provided an approval for some community demonstration flights between 11 April and 13 April 2019, and for the Early Flyer Program, which served 100 homes in Crace, Palmerston and Franklin for the period from 24 April 2019 to 31 May 2019. This approval was extended until 31 July 2019.
Subsequently the department has approved demonstration and delivery flights to Crace, Palmerston and Franklin from 1 August 2019 to 31 January 2020. The department has also approved demonstration, an Early Flyer Program (first 30 days) and delivery flights to Harrison over this period.
The department has provided an approval for delivery flights and community demonstration flights between 31 October 2019 and 31 January 2020 to homes in Crestmead and Marsden.
In granting approval for the Gungahlin and Logan operations, the department has placed a number of operating conditions on Wing’s operations, these include a limit of an average of 40 flights per day per suburb (for Gungahlin) and 60 flights per day per suburb (for Logan) and the drone must only fly in daylight on:
- Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 7.30am to 7pm, local operating time to the relevant State or Territory.
- Saturday from 8.00am to 6pm, local operating time to the relevant State or Territory.
- Sunday from 9.00am to 6pm, local operating time to the relevant State or Territory.
- Operations are not permitted on public holidays.
Following noise testing of the Gungahlin operations in June 2019, the department has assessed the noise level produced by the drone at 69 decibels at 15 metres, with the delivery process being completed within 45 seconds.
This distance approximates the average distance for those in the community having a neighbour receiving a delivery. Previous noise testing undertaken without a payload measured this model of drone at 55 decibels at 25 metres away. More information about typical noise levels can be found at http://aircraftnoise.com.au/causes-of-aircraft-noise/measuring-aircraft-noise/.
The department acknowledges that the drone has a particular pitch that would be different to other sounds experienced within a suburban environment. The department has imposed limits on the number of flights per day as part of the approval for operations.
A condition of the Wing approval is that Wing must collate all community feedback during the operational period regarding its operations (whether given to Wing directly, or to the department, Airservices, the ACT Government, the Queensland Government and Logan City Council) and provide this to the department.
Feedback has been received, in relation to the Gungahlin operations, from four residents in Franklin and three residents in Palmerston during the period 24 April to 31 July 2019. This includes feedback provided to Access Canberra, Airservices Australia, Wing and the department.
If you have feedback regarding Wing’s operations you can provide this feedback directly to Wing.
If you have complaints relating to the noise from the Wing drone you may contact Airservices Australia.
The ACT Government has provided land use permission approval for the establishment of the Wing drone operational base in Mitchell.
For further information on Drone Use in the ACT you may wish to contact Access Canberra.
For more information on planning approvals and drone operations in Logan, Queensland you may wish to contact Logan City Council.