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Video: 500 drones light up the night sky in Sydney SkyShow

written by Hannah Dowling | January 11, 2022

In an Australian first, ELEVATE SkyShow will feature 500 choreographed drones over Sydney Cove. (Destination NSW)

Hundreds of drones took to the night sky above Sydney’s iconic harbour in the first days of 2022, as part of the six-day ELEVATE Sydney festival, organised by Destination NSW.

Between Saturday, 1 January to Wednesday, 5 January, 500 drones took to the sky each night in choreographed harmony as part of the Sydney SkyShow, projecting uniquely Australian imagery and set to an original soundscape, over Sydney Cove.

Images included boomerangs, waratahs, a cockatoo and “word art”.

The 11-minute show was performed by international drone pilots from computer giant Intel, who were trained and accredited to operate in Australian skies by local drone companies Aviassist and Mirragin.

The SkyShow also broke a new record in the Southern Hemisphere for the most drones in the sky at one time.


Check out some highlights of the SkyShow here, courtesy of Destination NSW:

With Intel being a foreign company with international pilots, the drone operators had to work closely with Australian companies to get the correct accreditation for the show to go ahead.

“This show would not be happening if not for two Australian companies working together to get the right training and accreditation for Intel,” said Mirragin director Andrew Crowe.

According to Aviassist managing director Ross Anderson, the CASA accreditation process was “one of the more challenging regimes” that Intel’s pilots have had to go through.

It comes after a similar drone display, planned to take place in Melbourne on New Year’s Eve, was cancelled by the Civil Aviation Safety Administration, due to not meeting safety requirements.

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