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Australia getting new UAV flight test range

Cloncurry Aerodrome UAV flight test range
Photo: Qinetiq

The Australian government has contracted QinetiQ Australia to design and construct an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight test range in Queensland.

The range 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 center, 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.

“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.”

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 complex developmental test programs.

The facility is expected to be finished later this year.