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Know the rules that apply to recreational drone users and fly safely.

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Your feedback, comments and complaints help us to better understand and address community or industry concerns.

Data and research

Data and research to support decision making on drones and emerging aviation technologies.

The Australian Government works closely with industry, research organisations, and international partners to support evidence-based policy and decision making on the drone and emerging aviation technologies sector in Australia.

The Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships Program will provide valuable real-world research and development opportunities through strategic partnerships with industry. This will assist government to refine approaches to regulation and digital service delivery models and enable operations with increased complexity and at a greater scale.

Drone Information Hub

Drone with mounted camera is hovering over crops.

The website is the first phase in the Drone Information Hub project, providing a central location for drone users and the broader community to find the information they need on drones in Australia. 

Further work on this site is planned for 2024 to explore options for improved data availability.

Social and demographic benefits of increased drone uptake in Australia

A young girl is chasing a drone which is flying above a beach.

In April 2023, the department released a research report, delivered in partnership with iMOVE and the University of South Australia, investigating the benefits and challenges of increased drone uptake in Australia. The report identifies a number of industries that could greatly benefit from increased drone use, including emergency relief and disaster management, security services, freight, agriculture, last-mile deliveries, recreation and entertainment.

Key findings include:

  • a net productivity increase of 10 per cent for Australia’s emergency services sector, resulting in a $460 million net boost to the national economy
  • savings of between $1-8 billion from the use of drones in early fire detection (based on modelling using data from the 2019-20 bushfire season).

Comparison of international frameworks measuring remotely piloted aircraft noise

Close up of hands holding a drone controller, which includes a smart phone attached to a remote controller and an additional screen.

The Australian Government is sponsoring an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) research project, in partnership with co-sponsoring economies, to compare international frameworks measuring remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) noise.

This project will undertake foundational research in identifying best practice and innovative solutions for measuring and regulating RPA noise, by comparing approaches across APEC economies. The project will support increased harmonisation, mutual recognition and transferability of RPA noise measurements through a proposed framework with the aim to ensure the framework is applicable in a diverse range of settings.

Economic benefits of drones

Aerial photo taken by a drone, of a cargo ship with lots of colourful shipping containers.

In October 2020, the department commissioned a report by Deloitte Access Economics to quantify the potential economic benefits and savings emerging aviation technologies could have on the Australian economy over the next 5, 10 and 20 year periods. The report outlines the findings and analysis of use cases for drones over the medium to long term as well as cost savings from the application of drones across different sectors in the Australian economy.

Key findings include:

  • Creation of up to 10,000 jobs over the next 20 years.
  • $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.