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Airservices controls RAAF Heron UAV in civilian airspace for the first time

written by | July 3, 2015

No. 5 Flight Heron at Rockhampton Airport.Airservices has for the first time guided a Royal Australian Air Force remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) through civilian airspace.

The Heron took off from Rockhampton Airport on June 24 ahead of Exercise Talisman Sabre. Shortly after departure, air traffic control of the aircraft was transferred over to controllers located at Brisbane Airport for onwards clearances into Shoalwater Bay Training Area restricted airspace.

“Controlling the Heron in our airspace is a clear demonstration of the importance of harmonising the diverse airspace and capability needs of Air Force, while maintaining the safety and efficiency of civilian operations,” stated Greg Hood, Airservices Australia executive general manager for air traffic control.


No. 5 Flight Heron at Rockhampton Airport.

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  • Graham Rees


    Brave new world.

  • Smej


    Well done to all of the teams (military and civil) focussing and facilitating together.;a harmony that has been cultured over decades as Greg can testify to.

  • Adrian P


    Did Airservices directly control the UAV or pass instructions to the remote pilot like they would any other pilot of an aircraft?
    If the latter does the remote pilot have the capability of listening out on the frequency of the airspace the pilot is operating in?
    Some thing I have asked before do the UAVs have an Anti Collision Avoidance System similar to commercial aircraft?

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