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 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.

The site will test small-to-medium sized drones weighing between 30 and 150 kg. During the initial stages of operation, drones will make test flights up to 30 km 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

A development application has been lodged with Cloncurry Shire Council, which will include public notification and community consultation. Airport and local stakeholders, including landowners, have been contacted inviting submissions.

For more information on the approval process and submissions, contact Cloncurry Shire Council on 07 4742 4100 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Submissions close on 17 January 2020.

Regulatory approvals are also underway in consultation with national air safety authorities.

Subject to approval, construction is scheduled to begin in early 2020, with the first stage due to be operational around mid-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?