Drones to be considered

Drones to be considered as alternative to NYE fireworks

Alex CroweAlex Crowe

Canberra could welcome in 2021 with a futuristic twist with a drone light show one of the options considered as a fireworks alternative.

Following the cancellation of this year’s New Year’s Eve pyrotechnics performance, the ACT government will join others around the world looking towards environmentally safer options.

Fitted with LED lights, the displays usually include hundreds or even thousands of tiny drones flown in formation to create images. The reusable technology does not produce the same air and noise pollution as fireworks displays.

A government spokesperson said Events ACT will continue to explore alternate options to fireworks – including drones – and will provide advice to the Chief Minister and the Minister for Arts, Creative Industries and Cultural Events in due course.

“Off the back of the recent experience with our summer events, Events ACT is exploring options for alternatives to fireworks, however no decision has been made at this time regarding NYE 2020 celebrations,” the spokesperson said.

Events ACT was in the midst of a busy event season this week with the Enlighten Festival due to commence next Friday.

The Canberra FM funded Skyfire fireworks event signalling the end of the festival on March 14 was scheduled to go ahead.

Sydney’s iconic display could also be a thing of the past with the City of Sydney Council also canvassing the idea of a drone show.

Shows using about 500 drones had been reported to cost as little as $75,000, while the decision to go ahead with Sydney’s recent fireworks display cost the council more than $6.5 million.

Since the first drone show in 2012, there has been a rapid intake of the fireworks alternative worldwide.

Lady Gaga kicked off the NFL Superbowl half-time show with 300 drones creating the US flag behind her and a year later, 1218 lightweight drones opened the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Footage broadcast globally depicting a drone display welcoming 2020 in Shanghai was later revealed to have been recorded during a practice run on December 28.

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