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Students invited to reach for the sky with drone challenge

20 August 2018

Last year’s winner of the high school drone challenge Patrick Young undergoing training with Andrew Learmonth from Remote Aviation, Councillor Andrew Smith having a turn at flying the drone, and other challenge winner Ejypt Reuben

Following National Science week, high school students across the Western Downs have been invited to submit their ideas for the future use of drone technology.

Western Downs Regional Council is giving senior students the opportunity to earn their own Remote Pilot Licence by submitting a short proposal about how drones could be used to help local industries now and in the future.

Councillor Donna Ashurst says that Unmanned Aircraft Systems (AUS) – commonly known as drones – are part of the fastest growing sector of the aviation industry.

“Drone technology is already replacing traditional aviation work in the Agriculture and mining industries, including crop spraying and data gathering,” she said.

“We would really like to hear some ideas from our young people about how they feel drones could be used to improve the day-to-day work of our farmers and those working on the land, now and in the future.”

Flight Training Manager Andrew Learmonth from Remote Aviation will provide a drone training course for the best male and female student proposal received.

“This is an amazing opportunity for two students to attain their own drone pilot licence, which is the first step towards becoming certified to operate drones without the restrictions that hobby users have,” he said.

“The Remote Pilot Licence is a gateway qualification into the aviation industry, so it will give them a real head-start towards their future plans.”

Students can apply by submitting either a written or short video proposal about how they believe drones could be used to assist an industry in the Western Downs region; why they want to obtain their own Remote Pilot Licence, and how it could be used across the Western Downs.

The competition closes on 9 September, with winners announced at the upcoming Dalby Drone Industry Forum to be held on Monday 24 September 2018.

For more information on how to enter the high school drone challenge, visit or call 1300 COUNCIL.

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Media Contact:
Melanie Coultas | Media Relations Senior Advisor | 0419 048 594