Watpac was appointed as the managing contractor for the new North Queensland Stadium in Townsville. There are requirements on their contract to show the progress of the construction. Watpac’s project management team wanted to use new technology to show the changes and create a montage of the build over 2 years. 


FlyFreely was engaged to provide the initial training, provide appropriate craft to use, the procedures to operate under and setup the semi-automated flight paths to ensure that the operations collected the same footage and photos every single flight over the 2 years.


Watpac Stadium Site.png


This also included seeking out an instrument (or exemption) be able to operate within 3NM (nautical miles) of the controlled aerodrome of Townsville (ICAO Code – YBTL). As you can see in the image above, the red area is within 3NM of the Townsville aerodrome, and the stadium site is just inside the zone. To be able to operate here, we had to work with 452 Squadron on airspace agreements, and then submit to CASA the appropriate paperwork to request permission to operate. We have been successful in gaining these permissions and Watpac is able to operate through-out the life of the project.

The final video will be edited together to show the weekly flights and the progress of the new North Queensland Stadium, it will be interesting to see how the cityscape of Townsville changes over those 2 years and watch how the project builds itself.


The North Queensland Stadium is a joint project of the Queensland Government, the Australian Government and the Townsville City Council and is supported by both the National Rugby League (NRL) and the North Queensland Cowboys. The Stadium forms part of the Townsville City Deal signed in December 2016.