ReefWorks granted Australia’s first permit-free marine tech testing status
For the first time in Australia, autonomous marine technology developers have a location to safely test autonomous vessels without needing to apply for a permit.
The AIMS ReefWorks inshore test range, near Townsville in north Queensland, was granted regulatory sandbox approval for uncrewed vessels from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
It’s the first approval issued under a proposed Australian Maritime Regulatory Sandbox advocated by Trusted Autonomous Systems (TAS), AIMS and AMC Search.
The five-year agreement allows for permit-free testing and evaluation of vessels up to 12m in length, travelling up to 20 knots within the test range.
It removes a time-consuming hurdle and uncertainty for developers and helps clear the path for development of Australia’s fledgling autonomous marine technology sector.
It will also allow ReefWorks to share lessons learnt with regulators to help reduce risk and drive legislative changes.