The Queensland Flight Test Range is now open for business!


Following our previous work to Design and Construct the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) flight test range (FTR), we were also awarded the contract for the Operation and Maintenance phase agreement on behalf of the Queensland Government.

Range design

The Queensland Flight Test Range is located at Cloncurry Aerodrome in North West Queensland and consists of a commercial quality runway, dedicated hangar and workshop, range control centre, range control system including a primary surveillance radar and other surveillance and tracking equipment, dedicated airspace and regulatory approvals for UAS FTR operations.

QinetiQ Australia Managing Director Greg Barsby said, “The Queensland Government has a vision to be a world leader in UAS technologies and QinetiQ has been proud to support this through the creation of the flight test range facility at Cloncurry.”

“Together with our partners, QinetiQ manages some of the world’s most advanced range facilities across the land, maritime and aerospace domains. By drawing on our global experience, QinetiQ and our partners will deliver this facility, the largest of its kind in the region.

“The FTR is a critical component in the overall drone ecosystem, as an enabler and connector of high-technology UAS programs and initiatives.”

The commercial FTR allows Australia’s burgeoning UAS industry to conduct research into developing new technologies and to test and evaluate their platforms and payloads.

The FTR provides for:

  • Operational flying of all weight classes of UAS for routine flying operations, Test & Evaluation and demonstration activities of varying levels of operational complexity.
  • The conduct of safe trials through continuous operational monitoring and advice using proven operating processes and equipment.
  • Safe flying operations by approved and licensed operators in a managed environment.

The FTR utilises interconnected airspace volumes of varying dimensions (up to 15,000 to meet various customer UAS trial requirements, including:

  • First flight testing
  • Sensor and payload testing
  • Handling and manoeuvring tests
  • Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) and Extended Visual Line of Sight (EVLOS) testing
  • High speed, high altitude performance testing

This contract award reinforces QinetiQ’s position as the leading expert and partner for the development and management of mission critical test and evaluation ranges.

For further information, please contact QinetiQ Australia’s Ranges Team at