HAPS Alliance Member Spotlight with Northern Territory Government of Australia on its vision to be the Home of HAPS in the Indo-Pacific Region

Claire George, Executive Director of Investment Attraction, Northern Territory Government of Australia

Australia’s Northern Territory, or Territory for short, is the ideal place to meet the future demands of the global space industry, especially in the HAPS sector. The Northern Territory Government’s vision for the Territory is to be recognized as Australia’s premier space launch location and the home of high-altitude platform stations (HAPS) in the Indo-Pacific region. NASA, JAXA and CNES have already recognized the Territory’s competitive advantages and have been launching scientific high-altitude balloon campaigns from the Alice Springs Ballooning Facility since the 1970s.

The Northern Territory Government is delighted to be a member of the HAPS Alliance because of its unique collaboration of industry, researchers, and government dedicated to developing the HAPS sector. Our Alliance membership enables us to connect with industry influencers to promote the thriving HAPS ecosystem and contribute towards developing Australia as a significant player in the global space industry.

We have received great support to date from the HAPS Alliance, including from President Ken Riordan, who noted: “The HAPS Alliance applauds the Northern Territory Government of Australia’s efforts to facilitate HAPS technology development and access to the stratosphere. We note the Northern Territory’s conducive weather conditions, close proximity to Asian markets, and convenient access to Latin America and Africa. We also recognize that the Northern Territory has a long and distinguished history of innovation and research and development, promoting the growing HAPS industry and their applications.”

The Northern Territory’s geographic location provides many benefits for HAPS launch and recovery. Loon and World View both independently assessed and selected Alice Springs in Central Australia as the ideal location for their southern hemisphere launch facility. Their research found that Alice Springs is one of the best locations in the world for stratospheric ballooning and HAPS launch, recovery, research, and development due to its central position, remote location and low population, ideal weather providing year-round launch ability (clear skies 250 days a year), the ability to reach key markets while avoiding no-fly zones, short transit times to reach Latin America, Asia and Africa, availability of land suitable for the development of a HAPS launch and manufacturing operations, ease of recoverability/multiple landing zones and suitability for research and development launches.

The Northern Territory Government looks forward to connecting and collaborating with Alliance members and HAPS operators. We encourage members to explore the competitive advantages that Australia’s Northern Territory has to offer. We welcome investment inquiries and our team offers a facilitation service. We can assist with information on the sites suitable for establishing launch sites; offer advice on the types of government assistance available for transformative projects; provide introductions to the Territory’s government contacts and business and industry networks; as well as facilitate investment-related visits to the Territory.