Queensland Drones Strategy

The Queensland Government was the first in Australia to launch a strategy for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) – also known as drones.

The Queensland Drones Strategy (PDF icon 7 MB) builds upon Queensland’s strengths and leverages the state’s innovation success to take advantage of new and emerging opportunities, complementing our Advance Queensland initiative.

Our vision is that Queensland is a world-leader in drone technology and application. Our drone industry has strong investment and jobs growth, supported by our world-leading research and development capability, and a highly skilled workforce.

We’ve developed the strategy in consultation with government, industry, academia and the general public, to ensure it supports the industry now and into the future.

Drone testing facility

One of the strategy’s priorities is to establish a world-class commercial common-user drone testing facility.

To deliver on this priority, we’re investing $14.5 million to develop the first stage of a drone flight test facility in North West Queensland at Cloncurry Airport.

This facility will be the first of its type in Australia, and the world’s largest aerospace group, The Boeing Company, will be one of the first to trial drones at the facility.

During the initial stages of operation, drones will make test flights up to 25km along a designated flight path, away from built-up areas.

This project supports initiatives set out in our North West Queensland Economic Diversification Strategy Implementation Plan 2019-2021.

Key project activities and dates

Following public notification and community consultation, design of the facility has been finalised and approved by Cloncurry Shire Council.

QinetiQ Australia has been appointed to oversee construction of the facility. This will include obtaining relevant aviation regulatory approvals and certification of the facilities built at Cloncurry Airport. They will also consult with users of the airport and surrounding landowners to inform the facility’s operational plan.

The site will be operational by late 2020.

Further information

For queries about this project, please contact us on 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Frequently asked questions

How many regional jobs will the facility create?

Will flights arriving and departing from the airport be impacted?

How big will the facility be?

Who are the project partners of the facility?

How much will it cost to use the facility?

How will the facility impact the township and surrounds?

What hours will the facility operate?

Will the facility be further developed in the future?