QinetiQ Australia has been awarded a contract to design and construct a $14.5 million unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flight test range (FTR) on behalf of the Queensland Government.

The FTR will be located at Cloncurry Aerodrome in North West Queensland and will consist of access to a commercial quality runway, dedicated hangar and workshop, range control centre, range control system including a primary surveillance radar and other surveillance and tracking equipment, dedicated airspace and regulatory approvals for UAS FTR operations.

“The Queensland Government has a vision to be a world leader in UAS technologies and QinetiQ is proud to support this through the creation of the flight test range facility at Cloncurry,” QinetiQ Australia Managing Director Greg Barsby said.

“Together with our partners, QinetiQ manages some of the world’s most advanced range facilities across the land, maritime and aerospace domains. By drawing on our global experience, QinetiQ and our partners will deliver this facility, the largest of its kind in the region.”

Queensland Minister for State Development, Tourism and Innovation Kate Jones said the project will provide a key missing element for UAS research and development. The facility is part of the larger North West Queensland Economic Diversification Strategy Implementation Plan 2019–2021 push from the state government to support a diverse range of businesses in regional areas.

“The Queensland Government was the first in Australia to launch a drone strategy, and now we’re well on the way to becoming the nation’s drone technology capital.”

The initial capability offered by the facility will support all weight classes of UAS for routine flying operations, demonstration activities and test and evaluation trials of moderate complexity. Future phases of development will support the full range of ground and flight test activity, providing an Australian home for the conduct of highly complex developmental test programs. 

Boeing Australia is expected to be first in line to test at the facility as part of its Advanced Autonomy Platform Technologies agreement with the Palaszczuk Government under the Advance Queensland programme.

The construction of the facility is expected to be finished later this year for flying to begin in October this year.

UAV DACH: Beitrag im Original auf https://www.uasvision.com/2020/06/05/qinetiq-australia-to-design-and-construct-queensland-uas-flight-test-range/, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von UAS Vision automatisch importiert. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung oder Position des UAV DACH e.V. wieder. Das Original ist in englischer Sprache.