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Drone delivery service looking for permanent home in the ACT despite noise complaints

By Lachlan Roberts 8 October 2018 19

Drone deliveries may become a fixture across the Canberra skyline. Photo supplied by Project Wing.

Deliveries by drones are set to become a fixture across the Canberra skyline after successful trials earlier this year despite community concerns about the “noisy, intrusive, unnecessary drones”.

Project Wing, who runs trials out of Bonython in Canberra’s south delivering small products to Tuggeranong’s smaller suburban yards, is now looking to set up a permanent location in the ACT.

The service has a couple of months left in their trial site in Bonython before their lease expires but the company will start to look for a new home in the coming months.

Project Wing chief Ryan Burgess spoke to 2CC and said the drone delivery service is still exploring all their options.

“We have received a lot of feedback from the community about what would be most acceptable and we think targetting commercial and industrial areas for a future site makes a lot of sense,” he said.

“We are still exploring options but there will likely be a shift at some point.”

The company has received a variety of feedback from the trial, which included complaints the noise and perception of the aircraft disturbing the quiet suburb in the south of Canberra. He said the company took the feedback to heart and was currently looking at ways to address the issue and improve the system to make it more appealing to the community.

“We have also seen a lot more adoption than we expected. A lot of families are using the system in various situations or scenarios that we didn’t anticipate,” Mr Burgess said.

“We really like the positive support and the creativeness that people are finding in this system.”

Wing has faced growing opposition to its trial in Bonython, with residents forming a Facebook group to express their concerns about the noise and lack of privacy from the drones.

The group, Bonython Against Drones, states it is a “group of concerned residents united against noisy, intrusive, unnecessary drones in Bonython” and spokesman Nev Sheather told 2CC residents were disturbed by the noise and said it was ruining their quality of life.

“The drones are unbelievably noisy and they have a really, really loud, high-pitched whining sound. Somebody said it sounds like an F1 racing car,” Mr Sheather said.

“On Sunday, there were 35 drones flying over my house during the day and this is only a trial so they only have a limited number of flights. So if they go commercial, that number will go up and up.”

Mr Sheather said residents can hear the drones from up to a kilometre away and believes the use of delivering small items is not an essential service. He was happy his suburb would not be used as system’s permanent home but said it would only shift the issues to other parts of the nation’s capital.

Do you like the idea of drone deliveries becoming a fixture in Canberra? If you live in Tuggeranong what are your concerns?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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19 Responses to
Drone delivery service looking for permanent home in the ACT despite noise complaints
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David Brown 5:41 pm 09 Oct 18

My postman rides his scooter through my garden. I would love him replaced by a drone.

Peter Evans 11:07 am 09 Oct 18

If we have to have them why can't they follow the roads and so minimise intrusion on other property. Surely it would still be quick enough.

Joan O'Callaghan 9:17 am 09 Oct 18

Drone deliveries of anti-venom or blood to remote clinics or disasters makes sense. Driving citizens to weaponise does not.

Anohs Llihpmeh 8:45 am 09 Oct 18

I work shifts in a chaotic, noisy medical environment. Therefore we bought in a peaceful corner of our suburb for a reason, so I get peace and rest to do my job well. I really don't want intrusive noise from drones and to feel we dont have privacy in our yard. I would prefer to receive a delivery from a healthy kid on a bike than from a drone. Wouldnt subject my neighbours to deliveries from a drone. We pick up most things we need or want.

Charlie Edwards 6:17 am 09 Oct 18

The drones are great. We need more of them to ease congestion in Tuggeranong

Anna Roberts 7:43 pm 08 Oct 18

Noise AND privacy and dropping accidents are a problem.

Sarah West 6:28 pm 08 Oct 18

I hate this. It flies over our house over and over again on Saturday and Sunday mornings. It is noisy and flies at bedroom height. We have to resist the urge to throw a basketball at it. It is very annoying. I’m all for innovation, but not when it makes life worse.

Daniel Apps 4:30 pm 08 Oct 18

Intrusion? How is it. They aren’t hovering over residents looking around. They are going to and from a destination

    Sarah West 6:33 pm 08 Oct 18

    It feels pretty intrusive when it flies past my bedroom window 20 times before midday on a Sunday!! It’s noisy!

Peter McMahon 3:41 pm 08 Oct 18

If successful they will only fly over or in the vicinity of my place once. Already had discussions with police over the impact if I bring any down.

    Guy Manton 4:28 pm 08 Oct 18

    Peter McMahon I have to ask why? Some of the services they are offering are things like delivering medications.

    Peter McMahon 5:00 pm 08 Oct 18

    Guy Manton The reason I went to the Police was that on 4 occasions we have had a very sophisticated and expensive drone with camera hovering over our property and neighbours properties. It was operating from Gowrie or Fadden. The noise and disturbance, particularly with dogs, was unbelievable. The police accepted my advance apology in case it was operated by them and I took it out. I won’t care what they are delivering whether legal or illegal medications. My place will be and is a no fly zone.

    Anohs Llihpmeh 8:37 am 09 Oct 18

    Medications should not leave the hands of a human. If the drone dropped the load or crashed and a child or animal consumed them, it would be a bad thing ... We don't need more noise, we dont need our privacy further compromised.

Justin Sevi 3:22 pm 08 Oct 18

Just beacuse we can doesnt mean we should.

Christine Jack 3:15 pm 08 Oct 18

Just want to say the noise, it’s dreadful, echoes through the suburb, and you can here them miles away. Not to mention setting the dogs off and less birds 🦅 in the area.

Michelle Fahy 2:10 pm 08 Oct 18

In addition to noise concerns, and visual pollution (I'd rather look at birds not drones) I really don't like the idea that this will take away much-needed employment from young people and others on limited incomes

    Guy Manton 4:26 pm 08 Oct 18

    Michelle Fahy we should just get rid of heavy mining equipment and go back to picks and shovels. That will bring unemployment down to zero.

Justin Watson 2:03 pm 08 Oct 18

The noise is the biggest issue. Drone technology, however, will in the future be used to save lives, but there is no money developing drone technology to save lives. So drone delivery and other commercial drone operations is the best way forward to develop the technology (or defence). Also people need to understand the cameras on drones are the worst kind of camera for spying on people, they have wide angle lenses, great for navigation, awful for zooming int to photograph details. Your neighbour probably has a far bigger and better lens and you won't even know they are spying on you.

Matt Wheatley 12:42 pm 08 Oct 18

I like the idea my only concern would be what if something goes wrong or it collides with another drone

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