QinetiQ Australia has been given the contract to design and build an unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flight test range in Queensland, Australia on behalf of the Queensland Government. The flight test range will be located at the Cloncurry Aerodrome in North West Queensland.

The choice for the flight test range to be at Cloncurry Aerodrome is thanks to access to a commercial quality runway, dedicated hangar and workshop, range control centre, range control system including radar, dedicated airspace, and regulatory approvals for UAV operations.

The facility in its current state is able to support all weight classes of UAVs and will allow for routine flight operations, demonstrations, tests and trials to be completed without any issues. In future development, the aerodrome will be able to support everything required while testing drones and turn the Cloncurry Aerodrome into the Australian home for UAV testing.

QinetiQ Australia Managing Director Greg Barsby shared that the company is proud to be working with the Queensland Government and is excited to bring in their global experience in land, maritime, and aerospace domains. He continued with the following:

“The QinetiQ team is looking forward to working with the Queensland Government, Cloncurry Shire Council and regional SMEs to develop this facility. It will be a critical component in the overall drone ecosystem, as an enabler and connector of high-technology UAS programs and initiatives.”

Queensland Minister for State Development, Tourism and Innovation Kate Jones shared that the flight test range will be the first of its kind in Australia and are on the way to become the drone technology capital of Australia.

The contract has helped QinetiQ to reinforce its position as the leading expert and partner in the field of development and management of mission-critical testing and evaluations.

Do you think governments should invest more in flight test facilities to advance the use of UAVs? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: QinetiQ

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