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Remotely Piloted Aircraft - the essential tool to enhance Local Government Capabilities

Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA); commonly known as Drones or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), could soon be the essential tool within each Local Government's toolkit with the assistance of a local government-wide service. The opportunities are clear and this innovative technology has the potential to significantly enhance council service capabilities across a number of operational areas in the long-term and immediate future. Assisting councils to transition quickly and effortlessly to this new technology will provide far-reaching benefits. Plus, build local government capacity to effectively respond to increasing resource demands and environmental changes.

With increasing demands put on local government resources each year, councils throughout Australia are under immense pressure to review the way that they do business. Recognising the benefits available from RPA systems, the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), Local Government Infrastructure Services (LGIS) and Telstra collaborated through the Industry Development Fund to investigate how this emerging technology can cost-effectively assist council with managing increasing operational challenges.

This report details the findings from this investigation and showcases the success stories of councils and water utilities that have trialled and demonstrated the benefits available from RPA technology. Based on the findings from these trials and a market sounding activity, LGIS identified five key operational areas where RPA use could bring immediate and significant benefits to councils. These areas of opportunity are:

  • Asset management (ie, asset condition inspections)
  • Disaster management (ie, capturing live disaster footage to inform the emergency control centre or post-event condition assessments)
  • Landfill and quarry management (ie, volumetric assessments)
  • Pest and weed management (ie, pest/weed detection, mapping, control and monitoring), and
  • Compliance management (ie, surveillance of unlawful activity, capturing  pool registration data). 

Access the full report here