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AVN5106 Commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Operations

Semester 2, 2021 Online
Short Description: Commercial UAV Operations
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Business
Student contribution band : Band 4
ASCED code : 080399 - Business Mgt not classified
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Tarryn Kille

Other Requisites

There are no pre-requisites for this course other than a high level of interest in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle applications that is appropriate for a professional in the aviation industry.
Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), also referred to as ‘drones’ appear to be gaining much traction in the commercial sector. The proliferation and diversity in applications of UAVs has created a paradigm shift in air transportation, and paved a pathway for a new area for research across a range of disciplines. Additionally, the dramatic growth of UAVs in civil society has uncovered significant challenges imposed on UAV operators, the commercial air transport sector, air traffic control, government policy-makers and highlighted a range of socio-political risks. The significant technological and engineering discoveries have created far-reaching applications for UAVs. Their high mobility, versatility and effect of use in environments considered dangerous to humans, combined with the efficiency in reducing operating time, makes them a practical tool for a variety of tasks.

The challenge for aviation professionals and government officials is how to establish this new and emerging air transport vehicle while protecting the vitality of the industry and the freedom of the community. Business leaders, government officials, and the travelling public would prefer a ‘silver bullet’ to resolve the issues associated with planning and implementing UAV related applications into the current air transport regulatory regime. In reality, air transport and UAV operations are a complex and highly dynamic system, which requires the consideration of appropriate policies, strategies, tools, and processes. This course aims to provide students with a broad understanding of the emerging applications of UAVs and consider the complexities of UAV implementation while equipping them with the appropriate skills necessary for their future careers in the air transport industry.


Students will be introduced to the contemporary challenges impacting on UAV operations and applicable to the air transport industry. They will develop a sound understanding of the applications and technologies of UAV operations. While examining the genesis of UAV applications relating to civil air transport, students will explore the political, and economic impacts on society and air transport. They will gain an in-depth knowledge of human factors and labour markets associated with UAV implementation, and develop the skills necessary to address future safety risks. Also, relevant national and international legislation and regulation associated with UAV applications are explained.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. discuss the origins of UAV systems and civilian applications as they relate to the air transport industry;
  2. analyse the political dynamics of wider civilian UAV use;
  3. explain aviation regulations as they apply to civilian UAVs in nation states most interested in the technology;
  4. discuss the interface between the human and the machines as it applies to civilian UAV operations;
  5. analyse the economics of civilian UAV operations and identify the considerations and decisions involved in business using such applications.


Description Weighting(%)
1. UAV applications and key technologies 20.00
2. UAVs: the human systems integration perspective 20.00
3. Foundations of UAV regulations 20.00
4. Contemporary UAV issues: politics, economics, terrorism and business principles 40.00

Text and Materials

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Perritt, H., & Sprague, E 2017, Domesticating Drones: The Technology, Law and Economics of Unmanned Aircraft, Routledge, New York.

Reference Materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student Workload Expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 20.00
Directed Study 39.00
Private Study 106.00

Assessment Details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Written Assignment 1 35 35 13 Aug 2021
Peer Collaboration 15 15 16 Aug 2021
Written Assignment 2 50 50 22 Oct 2021

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment Notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with the APA referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ library's referencing guide. This guide can be found at

Evaluation and Benchmarking

In meeting the University's aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:

conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
forms part of the Masters of Aviation, Graduate Certificate of Aviation, Graduate Diploma of Aviation and is benchmarked against the internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii)regular and rigorous review.

Date printed 8 November 2021