Queensland’s wide open skies may create a new outback industry, after a Japanese delegation visited Queensland to learn more about the state’s potential as a drone testing site and to attend the World of Drones Congress (WoDC).

The delegation of 6 representatives from high-tech companies was invited by TIQ Japan and accompanied by TIQ staff throughout their visit.

The delegation travelled first to the Outback Aerodrone Symposium in Barcaldine from 21 to 23 September.

The annual symposium offers drone demonstrations and presentations, and promotes the skies of western Queensland as an ideal drone-testing environment.

The delegation then moved on to Brisbane to join more than 750 other drone experts and enthusiasts from around the world at the World of Drones Congress from 26 to 27 September.

Now in its third year, the congress explored the latest in drone technology, applications and regulations.

Director of Investment for TIQ Japan Melissa Inooka said the trip showcased Queensland as an ideal testbed for Japan’s drone industry.

‘For example, Sky Perfect JSAT – Asia’s largest satellite company – was impressed with the vast amount of space in our regions,’ Ms Inooka said.

‘It was also impressed with the support and facilitation provided by both TIQ and the Barcaldine Regional Council.

‘We will continue to promote Queensland as the ideal testbed for Japan’s drone industry.’

TIQ Japan organised the delegates’ program and meetings with key local contacts, including:

  • the Civil Aviation Safety Authority
  • the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
  • Logan City Council, which is currently hosting a drone delivery trial.

Queensland is one of the first places in the world to have autonomous drone deliveries, and is also the headquarters for the Cooperative Research Centre for Trusted Autonomous Systems.

Sky Perfect JSAT presented at the Outback Aerodrone Symposium on developments in agriculture-related drone activity.

During its presentation, JSAT said the company was interested in working with Queensland partners to undertake testing and demonstrations in Queensland.

JSAT also attended the World of Drones Congress, as did the delegation from the Japan UAS Industrial Development Association (JUIDA), with JUIDA Executive Director Kakuya Iwata giving a presentation on drone safety.

JUIDA is recognised as a leading industry body in international collaboration for the drone sector.

Also recognised at the congress for international collaboration work on drones was Ms Inooka, who received the International Collaboration – Individual award.

The Outback Aerodrone Symposium is presented by the CWQ Remote Area Planning and Development Board in partnership with the Barcaldine Regional Council.

The aerospace sector is identified as an emerging export priority in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.

Japanese organisations represented in the drone delegation: