Validating the benefits of increased drone uptake for Australia
This study will investigate Australia’s emerging drone sector by summarising the current state of development and lessons learnt from other countries. It will also assess the demographic and geographic determinants of increased drone uptake in Australia, and identify key benefits from and challenges to increased drone uptake from the perspective of different communities and sub-populations.
The use of drone and advanced air mobility (AAM) technology is gaining momentum every day as more businesses realise its new potential, global reach, and greater applicability across a wide range of industrial and consumer operations.
In Australia, it has been projected that medium drone uptake can boost Australian productivity to a significant extent in the next few decades (Deloitte Access report, 2021). The report estimates that successful uptake of drones will create 5,500 new jobs every year and will boost real GDP by $14.5 billion with a cost saving of $9.3 billion across all sectors between 2020 and 2040.
A technology once more well-known for military applications is proving beneficial for commercial, research, government, and community purposes. Applications are wide ranging, for example improving urban and regional air mobility, delivery of goods (including medical and pathology equipment), use in agriculture, construction, mining and defence, enabling scientific outcomes, natural resource management, disaster response, tourism, the arts, and recreational activities.
Whilst all these benefits appeal to a greater number of industries and government organisations to adopt drones, there are many who still doubt the cost effectiveness, privacy, security, and safety of various applications. The market and non-market benefits and challenges of drones may not be the same across all sectors, use cases, and geographies.
With advances in technology and regulation as well as reduction of costs of operating, commercial drone uptake may increase significantly in Australia. Other areas of the world have seen significant drone uptake over the last 5 years or so and we can learn and draw conclusions from their experiences.
Against this backdrop, this project aims to assess the demographic and geographic determinants of increased drone uptake both at the aggregate and for different communities and sub-populations.
The objectives of this study are three-fold:
- Provide an overview of the drone sector in Australia, and a comparison with current and emerging sectors in other countries;
- Assess the demographic and geographic determinants of increased drone uptake in Australia; and
- Identify key benefits from and challenges to increased drone uptake from the perspective of different communities and sub-populations.
UPDATE: April 2023
This project has been completed, and the final report is available for download at The future of drones in Australia.
UPDATE: April 2023
A webinar presenting the scope and outcomes of this project was held on 11 May 2023. The event was recorded, and video can be watched at: Drones: Australian opportunities, risks, and challenges