Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

The growth in emerging aviation technologies such as drones, advanced air mobility (AAM) and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles is creating opportunities for new jobs and services.

Drone Noise Regulations – Regulation Impact Statement

On 30 August 2021, The Australian Government released a Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) on drone and emerging aviation technology noise regulations for industry and broader stakeholder consultation.

The RIS was developed in response to recommendations of the Review of the Air Navigation (Aircraft Noise) Regulations 2018 – Remotely Piloted Aircraft & Specialised Aircraft. Further information on the review can be found at Noise Regulation Review for RPA and Specialised Aircraft.

The RIS outlined four regulatory options and recommended Option 3 as a flexible approach to better manage noise impacts from emerging aviation technologies.

The majority of responses received agreed that Option 3 Flexible reform was their preferred choice to amend Regulations to introduce a drone-specific process for noise management. Drone usage which is unlikely to lead to noise impacts, such as operations using a micro-drone or agricultural operations, will be exempt from requiring noise approval from the Department. For drone usage requiring noise approval, a self-assessment form will be used to determine the potential extent of any noise impacts, and only those operations with significant noise impacts would be required to apply for approval.

  • Submissions received to date
  • Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) for proposed reform to Remotely Piloted Aircraft and electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft noise regulations PDF: 1210 KB

Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships Program

The Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships Program will support strategic partnerships with industry, using emerging aviation technology to address community needs, particularly in regional Australia.

The program is currently under development and is expected to be open for applications in late 2021. Ahead of release of the program guidelines and a call for applications, a Forecast Opportunity was released on 7 September 2021 to provide further detail on the program.

National Emerging Aviation Technologies Consultation

The department is committed to working closely with industry to progress emerging aviation technologies in Australia. Further information can be found on the consultation page.

National Emerging Aviation Technologies Policy Statement

On 6 May 2021, the Australian Government released the National Emerging Aviation Technologies Policy Statement as part of the 2021-22 Budget’s Digital Economy Strategy. The policy statement sets out how Government will support individuals, businesses and industry to adopt new and emerging digital aviation technology.

As part of the policy statement, the Government has committed to a range of whole-of-government initiatives that will create a scalable, efficient and adaptable operational ecosystem for emerging technologies. These initiatives include development of Australia’s Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management system, regulatory modernization and providing industry support.

  • National Emerging Aviation Technologies Policy Statement PDF: 4272 KB

National Aviation Policy Issues Paper on Emerging Aviation Technologies

As part of the development of the National Emerging Aviation Technologies Policy Statement, in 2020 the 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 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

In October 2020, the department commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to quantify the potential economic benefits and savings drones and electrical vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft 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


Further information related to drones can be found on the department's drones page.