UAV landing zone

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A remotely piloted US Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft landed on February 22, 2015 at Avalon Airport in Victoria, Australia, marking the first time a high-altitude military UAV has flown into a non-military air base to be viewed by the general public.

The aircraft’s arrival at the 2015 Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defense Exposition enables civil authorities to personally see the high-altitude intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities of a platform that is critical to the region’s military balance.

“This is significant on a number of fronts,” noted Royal Australian Air Force air marshal Geoff Brown, the Chief of RAAF. “It is the first time a military unmanned aerial system (UAS) has been in civil airspace with a civil air traffic control service in Australia, and the first time a military UAS has landed at a civil airport. Additionally, we have a keen interest in seeing the RQ-4 up close given our recent acquisition of the MQ-4C Triton, which provides the needed capability to monitor and protect Australia’s vast ocean approaches.”

The safe arrival of the RQ-4 demonstrates that procedures developed in concert with the RAAF and civil air traffic control and aviation safety organizations can allow remotely-piloted aircraft to operate safely in civil airspace, in a similar manner to manned aircraft. This arrival can also help pave the way for safe operation of Australia’s newly acquired MQ-4 Triton.

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With over 20 years experience in editorial management and content creation for multiple, market-leading titles at UKi Media & Events (publisher of Aerospace Testing International), one of the UK's fastest growing publishing companies, Anthony has written articles and news covering everything from aircraft, airports and cars, to cruise ships, trains, trucks and even tires!

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