The Government of the State of Victoria, Australia is seeking to lead the growth and development of an advanced air mobility (AAM) sector in the country and has released its Advanced Air Mobility Industry Vision Statement outlining its commitment to the sector.
Released today at the AAM Summit 2022 in Melbourne, the vision outlines the State Government’s plans to support the development of an AAM ecosystem. “The use of AAM in Victoria has the potential to revolutionize logistics, service delivery, emergency services, regional connectivity and passenger transport – providing opportunities for improvements in safety, time, cost and noise,” says Tim Pallas MP, Victoria’s Minister for Economic Development and State Treasurer.
The Victorian Government intends to work with industry, academia, governments and the community to establish an AAM ecosystem, supporting local trials, market validation, partnerships and research and development, Pallas says. At the same time, the government says it will continue to support the development of local capability in renewables, advanced manufacturing, digital technology and aviation skills, all of which will support the development of the AAM sector.
Victoria is aiming to be “a world-leading hub for research, development and testing of AAM technologies”, as well as leading regulatory innovation to enable the implementation of vertiports and infrastructure, says the Vision. The government intends to collaborate with community, industry and all levels of governments to understand and address community priorities and expectations; position Victoria to be “a vibrant centre for the development, incubation and attraction of AAM technology”; ensure Victoria is an early adopter of AAM by establishing a regulatory environment that supports it; and support test and trial activities in the State.
The government proposes to develop action plans in 2023 outlining key responsibilities, deliverables and outcomes, to be followed by the publication of action plans outlining the implementation of its vision. The Victorian Government says it has already established initial partnership programs and innovation hubs; signed a memorandum of understanding with the Australian Federal Government to collaborate on fostering the development of an AAM sector; explored dedicated areas for testing and trialing of technology, and participated in AAM activities at the World Economic Forum.
Economic benefit analysis conducted by Deloitte Access Economics estimates that the uptake of efficient and renewable AAM and drone technologies over the next 20 years could increase Victoria’s gross state product by USD$1.2 billion, of which USD$548 million would be in regional Victoria; increase aggregate employment in the State by an average 1,300 new full-time jobs per annum; and provide cost savings of USD$375 million across multiple industries, including USD$46 million in transport alone. Zero-emission AAM also supports the State’s decarbonization efforts, as well as furthering the State’s long history of aviation, says Pallas, which includes the first Australian-built powered aircraft, the Duigan biplane, in regional Victoria in 1910, and the establishment of an aircraft manufacturing capability at Fisherman’s Bend, home to Boeing’s manufacturing activities in the country today.
Participants at the AAM Summit, organized by the Australian Association for Uncrewed Systems (AAUS) welcomed the release of the Vision Statement. “This is exactly the message we need to send to the international community – that Australia is open to AAM investment,” says Sara Hales, managing director of Australian AAM collaboration platform Greenbird. “It is an incredibly positive move in the right direction, but we need similar moves by other [Australian] states,” Hales adds
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