Game of drones
Western Downs Regional Council in southwest Queensland is positioning itself to become known as Australia’s ‘home of drones’.
Unimpeded airspace, flat land and wide-open spaces: the region is ideal for drone use and is already recognised by industry leaders for its early adoption of the technology.
In 2018 Council’s Dalby Drone Forum will be expanded to include a Drone Industry Field Day with demonstrations and presentations from the industry’s leading experts.
Returning as part of the Forum, the UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Challenge will once again be held at the Dalby Model Aero Club.
Council is also proactively seeking opportunities for the establishment of a Drone Port within the region.
Council Spokesperson for Economic Development Councillor Donna Ashurst said a key Council focus is growing regional events as an economic stimulus.
“Last year’s inaugural Dalby Drone Forum led to Dalby hosting the Drone Senate Enquiry earlier this year,” Cr Ashurst said.
“Both events put us on the map as a region with huge capability to embrace this growing aviation industry.
“We’re already seeing the benefits of Council’s proactive push to make the Western Downs ‘The Home of Drones’.
“Our region has been identified by the State as a site for a potential Drone Port and Brisbane-based remote pilot training organisation Remote Aviation will commence its Drone Training Program in Dalby this July.
“Plus, the Western Downs is already home to the world’s largest drone development program run by Insitu Pacific.”
Remote Aviation Australia’s Flight Training Manager Andrew Learmonth said Dalby was an ideal location for Drone pilot training thanks to its wide-open terrain, industry take-up of UAV technology and Council support.
“Remote Aviation approached Council back in March as we were aware of its keen support of drone technology and the associated industries,” he said.
“Dalby was a logical choice for us. As well as the unimpeded airspace so close to Brisbane, there are already so many local industries here using remote pilot aircrafts to improve business efficiency and safety.
“We’ve launched our Drone Pilot Training Course which commences here in July, and we’re also offering a Drone Pilot Scholarship program open to Year 11 and 12 students within the Western Downs – valued at $2500 each.
“It’s great to be part of making this region ‘The Home of Drones’ by teaching the next generation of drone pilots and innovators. As the saying goes – the sky’s the limit.”