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Uncrewed Traffic Management

The Uncrewed Traffic Management system will help manage the rapidly developing emerging aviation technology industry in Australia.

The Australian Government and the emerging aviation technology industry are working closely together to develop an Uncrewed Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) system.

The UTM will support the safe, economical and efficient management of uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) in Australian airspace, and the UTM ecosystem will make available a wide range of services to support the industry to thrive.

Opportunities

Australia has the opportunity to strategically develop a capability to maintain smooth coordination of drones (and Advanced Air Mobility in the future), to minimise the risks to people and the community. A UTM ecosystem will be able to assist the safeguarding of privacy and environmental concerns, as well as managing UAS noise.

To fully realise the economic, social and productivity benefits of scaled UAS operations, the department is taking a whole-of-government and industry collaborative approach.

Ecosystem

The UTM ecosystem will comprise a number of capabilities to support a wide range of use cases for government, industry and the community. This includes:

  • The integration of capabilities such as establishing airspace 'no-fly-zones' to safeguard privacy, environmental and noise concerns;
  • Drone detection capabilities to hold negligent or malicious UAS operators to account; and
  • Safety frameworks such as Australia’s Future Airspace Framework and the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and Advanced Air Mobility Strategic Regulatory Roadmap.

Together, these capabilities will assist with the management of the emerging aviation technologies sector, so that Australia can harness its benefits, while reducing risks.

UTM Action Plan

The department is developing a UTM Action Plan which will outline the whole-of-government approach to delivering the UTM in an iterative, proportionate and industry supportive manner.

The department continually considers lessons learnt from international jurisdictions, consultation sessions with industry representatives and wider government departments to ensure the UTM system is:

  • Efficient and scalable to accommodate future increases in drone traffic;
  • Consistent with whole-of-government policy objectives;
  • Enabling operations based on a graduated approach to the risks and impacts to volumes of airspace;
  • Interoperable with existing Air Traffic Management systems for traditional aircraft;
  • Market driven to support competition and innovation; and
  • Fair and transparent to all airspace users.

Government roles

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts

The department continues to lead, coordinate the ongoing development and oversee the governance and policy objectives of a whole-of-government UTM ecosystem. This includes leading consultation processes across government and industry on the development of policy objectives of system design and market operation.

Airservices Australia

Airservices Australia is responsible for the development, deployment and management of a Flight Information Management System (FIMS), consistent with government policies and regulations. The delivery of UTM services will necessitate amending legislation and approvals issued to Airservices. The Australian Government will review the Air Services Act 1995 and the Civil Aviation Act 1988 to ensure they are appropriate to enable UTM to meet the Australian Government’s policy objectives, enable effective safety regulatory oversight by CASA, and enable Airservices to continue to provide services for the safety, regularity and efficiency of air navigation.

Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)

Within the context of the development and management of the UTM ecosystem, CASA’s role as the independent aviation safety regulator will continue to have an important and evolving application to ensure the primacy of safety through continued regulatory oversight of the ATM system and the evolving UTM ecosystem. CASA will continue to work closely with Airservices and future UTM Service Suppliers (USS) to ensure the development and deployment of the UTM ecosystem and FIMS occurs consistent with the appropriate safety standards to meet government policy objectives. CASA continues to work closely with other government agencies and regulators that have responsibility for other requirements of the UTM ecosystem, such as security, policy, governance, market regulation, noise, privacy and competition to ensure consistency of applicable legal requirements.

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