Advanced Air Mobility News

Wisk and Local Council Position South East Queensland to Lead AAM in Australia

Wisk and Local Council Position South East Queensland to Lead AAM in Australia

Advanced air mobility provider Wisk and the Council of Mayors South East Queensland (CoMSEQ) believe South East Queensland has a clear opportunity to lead the introduction of AAM in Australia in the lead up to the Olympic Games Brisbane 2032.

With this goal in mind, the partners are developing a future AAM South East Queensland (SEQ) roadmap to identify the priority actions required to establish AAM and an ecosystem in SEQ, one of the fastest-growing regions of the country.

Wisk signed a memorandum of understanding with CoMSEQ, Australia’s largest regional local government organization comprising 11 local councils, in July 2022 with a view to working together to realize the benefits of AAM in the region. The latest result of that partnership is a white paper released on Feb. 6, titled Bringing AAM to Brisbane, SEQ, Australia, which outlines the economic, social and environmental benefits and opportunities for AAM in the region.

The partners believe AAM has the potential to transform mobility in SEQ and provide new tourism opportunities. AAM could connect travelers from Brisbane Airport to the Sunshine Coast in just 22 minutes, saving at least an hour on today’s road journey.

The Queensland government estimates that by 2036, hundreds of daily passenger and freight AAM services could be operating across SEQ, while a recent Nexa Capital report forecasts SEQ AAM passenger demand to reach 8 million between 2036 and 2040 and 17 million from 2041-2045.

SEQ is one of the fastest-growing regions in Australia, with vast land and an expected population of 5.4 million by 2041. The demand for transport is projected to increase by 30% by 2031 and 48% by 2041, placing pressure on existing infrastructure and services. The geographic distribution of urban and regional centers in SEQ presents significant opportunities for air taxi services, the partners believe, with AAM to connect with existing modes of transport, including bus and rail networks.

AAM is expected to have a significant economic impact, with a recent Nexa Capital study forecasting the adoption of AAM will lead to an increase in SEQ GDP by US$3.7 billion over the next 25 years, with sector revenues forecast up to US$1.7 billion by 2045. A recent Roland Berger study projected AAM could contribute over US$45.75 billion – or 3.1% of national GDP – to the Australian economy by 2040, with the country expected to capture some 3% of the global AAM market. By 2045, Nexa forecasts the AAM industry could create over 4,600 new permanent jobs across SEQ alone.

The next step will see the development of the roadmap to define future steps. CoMSEQ will bring together the relevant government and community stakeholders to make AAM a reality, while Wisk will lead engagement with industry and regulators to develop the supporting ecosystem and regulatory environment. Over the next 12 to 24 months, CoMSEQ plans to support its member councils to work with vertiport providers to identify locations for vertiports and plan for future routes.

“Queensland has an incredible opportunity to be at the forefront of AAM,” says Catherine MacGowan, Asia-Pacific Regional Director for Wisk. “The region is experiencing unprecedented growth, and establishing a thriving AAM sector will create important economic opportunities and transportation linkages that will help the region develop in a sustainable way,” MacGowan adds.

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