16 April 2024

Australia's first electric aircraft conversion centre lands in the Gippsland

| James Day
Start the conversation
Group of workers with an electric plane motor/rotor

Dovetail Electric Aviation intends to gain certification for its first battery aircraft in 2026, and its hydrogen fuel cell aircraft conversions. Photo: Dovetail Electric Aviation/LinkedIn.

As the Federal Government launches its $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund, Victoria has announced the country’s first electric aircraft development centre will be established at the Latrobe Regional Airport.

The Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing joined staff from Dovetail Electric Aviation to officially open its new development centre in the airport’s Aerospace Technology Precinct.

“We are really pleased to support Dovetail Electric Aviation’s new centre in the Latrobe Valley, which will deliver world-leading innovations for the aviation sector, create new jobs in regional Victoria and contribute to the state’s net-zero emissions goal,” Ms Shing said.

READ MORE More renewable, manufacturing incentives coming to better link economic, national security

The new centre will create about 90 highly skilled jobs over the next five years, helping Dovetail to retrofit regional aircraft with batteries and hydrogen propulsion. This work will enable zero-emission flights that lower the environmental impact of air travel and support the State Government’s goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2045.

Dovetail’s new centre will also include research and development, with the potential of flight-testing its traditional aircraft that have been converted from turbine to electric power.

Last year, the company received the maximum funding allocation of $3 million in round 13 of the Cooperative Research Centres Projects grants program, which provides money for short-term research collaborations. Invest Victoria has also provided the company with financial support without claiming any equity, but has not provided details on the specific amount.

The Victorian Government expects its investment to support growth in regional freight, tourism and service delivery, along with supply chain networks across the state.

Dovetail CEO David Doral said the company was honoured to receive the government’s support, which would enable it to accelerate its work and realise its vision of a sustainable, efficient and accessible aviation future.

READ ALSO CPSU signs agreement with Victorian Government for improved salaries and conditions over next four years

The Latrobe precinct where Dovetail is based is a flexible-use Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) launchpad. It will enable AAM supply chain companies to prove and develop their innovations within Victoria, whether they’re start-ups or major global companies.

In August 2022, the Victorian Government released its AAM Industry Vision Statement, which outlined the plan to develop industries such as clean aviation, renewables, advanced manufacturing and digital technology.

The government refers to a 2020 Deloitte Access Economics report on the economic benefit analysis of drones in Australia. It estimates the AAM sector could create 1300 jobs every year and increase Victoria’s gross state product by $2.8 billion over the next two decades, of which $800 million would be in regional areas.

Deloitte’s report also claims the potential cost savings across multiple industries to be $546 million, with $68 million in transport alone.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.