Airborne IT Aims to Close the Gap in Remote Communities

Just three months into operation, Airborne IT - a WA business that delivers technology support via the air - has covered more than 18,568 kms of the State, rapidly responding to the need to close the gap for essential services in regional and remote communities.

Marc French - Operations Manager and a pilot for Airborne IT - commented that the Aero IT services idea came during his time as an education consultant where he noticed the impact of a gap in technology access between metro and regional communities.

“Technology - which includes access to reliable hardware like computers and interactive whiteboards through to the internet - is extremely important for connecting students and adults in regional areas with social, economic and health opportunities,” said Marc. 

“For example, recently at Port Hedland, we worked to connect the entire IT system for a local hotel - EFTPOS facilities, online bookings and orders - so that they can operate effectively and profitably.”

“Prior to that they were receiving IT support via the phone from a metro consultancy and the proprietors were not able to implement all the technical requirements via the phone. Our services became the lifeline between operating and shutting down for this local business.”  

Marc further indicated that the education technology arm of Airborne IT is making sure that students in remote schools will not miss out on important experiences that we take for granted by living in a city centre.

“Our Virtual Reality school program connects students with opportunities such as ‘seeing’ what it is like inside a mechanics  workshop for those who want to enter the industry, or what to expect under water in the ocean for kids who live in remote landlocked communities,” explained Marc. 

“Access to this innovation is essential not only from an education perspective but also to support principals and teachers who can utilise the technology to excite and inspire students to engage in study, take interest and increase attendance.” 

Through delivery of major projects with some of the world’s largest IT providers such as NEC, Airborne IT is also making sure that NBN is accessible for more of WA’s regional communities. 

“As we know and are aware of, especially during the current global pandemic, internet access and technology is crucial for connecting families, friends and people not only to each other, but also to essential services such as telehealth and mental health support,” said Marc. 

Mike Tappenden - Director of Airborne IT - commented that the Aero IT business model is even more attractive due to cost effectiveness, removing the barrier for higher prices associated with providing services to regional areas. 

“When we first developed our service model, we knew one of the main barriers for accessing most things in regional communities is cost,” explained Mike.

“So we worked through a formula to compare costs of flying a scheduled route to visit remote towns versus a fly or drive in and out and we found that we can offer up to 42% in cost savings in IT Service delivery.” 

Airborne IT is currently working to partner with more mining companies, Federal and State government agencies and local Chambers of Commerce to help close the gap for essential services in WA’s regional and remote communities.