The way forward for electrical aviation in Australia – Deakin launches complete white paper on potentialities and subsequent steps – Drones Information


Deakin University has published a whitepaper evaluating the opportunities and next steps for Advanced Aerial Mobility (AAM) in Australia. The focus is on electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) in the passenger and cargo context.

The study is the latest in the Deakin Mobility series and is a collaboration between the Institute for Research and Innovation in Intelligent Systems (IISRI) and the Center for Supply Chain and Logistics. It is the first and most comprehensive literature search and study of its kind, analyzing the regulatory challenges, operational potential, and likely benefits of AAM and eVTOL.

As the world continues to urbanize and we move from fossil fuels to sustainable energy sources, the development of new and efficient transportation systems will be of vital importance. To meet this challenge, industries and policy makers need to develop new skills and change attitudes to make a successful transition.

Electric aviation is becoming a global movement. In recent times, significant advances have attracted investors, corporations, and governments across the United States, Europe, Asia, and closer to home in New Zealand, where they are due to begin passenger transportation trials. In Australia, innovators have tested the delivery of drones, improving the country’s capabilities in low-altitude airspace.

The landmark Deakin study confirms that AAM represents a significant opportunity for Australia to develop its high-tech industrial sector with potential for employment and export growth.

Complementing ground traffic, many of the challenges associated with traffic congestion can be significantly reduced by using the airways effectively and efficiently. This could improve travel times from region to city, reduce population pressures in the major cities and improve regional connectivity.

Areas that could benefit from this advanced technology include high priority freight and passenger transportation, markets that would create new technical jobs and new revenue streams.

The white paper identifies:

  • potential market segments for eVTOL aircraft and the ways to manage these markets
  • future infrastructure, airspace and land requirements; and
  • Instructions for Australian research and development, including potential early studies.

It also outlines the challenges for widespread adoption in Australia, including regulations, safety, noise, community acceptance, locations, and research programs required to support development and testing. It is less likely that AAM will be successful without working with a variety of stakeholders. The company is complex and requires a multidisciplinary approach from investors, regulators, entrepreneurs and governments.

Deakin is uniquely able to contribute to this emerging industry with its expertise and proven results in advanced materials and battery technology – two areas of expertise on which AAM relies. EVTOL aircraft require lightweight, high quality components and the latest fuel cell technology.

Professor Doug Creighton, co-author of the white paper and associate director of IISRI, emphasized that while the way forward is challenging, the opportunities are exciting.

“From developing a long-term vision for technology and telecommunications in the rail industry to teleworking at home as the new normal, Deakin Mobility supports the development of skills related to new mobility, including systems thinking and multi-stakeholder engagement strategies, understanding of new technologies and services and business idea research to new entrants, ”said Professor Creighton.

The white paper “Advanced Aerial Mobility and eVTOL Aircraft in Australia: Promises and Challenges” can be downloaded from the IISRI website. You can also take part in the discussion with Deakin Mobility there.

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