Canberra's anti-drone campaigners have been delivered a major win, with the federal government conceding the technology should be subject to noise regulations.
The federal transport and infrastructure department has now launched an investigation into potential noise restrictions for commercial and recreational drones.
The national review was prompted by the ACT Assembly's drone inquiry, during which it emerged that no territory of federal authority had direct responsibility for policing drone noise.
The bulk of the 150 public submissions to the inquiry made complaints about drone noise, with many coming from Bonython residents who had experienced the aircraft's high-pitched buzz when tech company Wing trialed its delivery service in their suburb last year.
In April, Bonython resident and aviation safety expert Ian McIntyre went a step further, claiming Wing's drones were flying "illegally" as the company has not received key noise approvals before launching into Tuggeranong.
Mr McIntyre said Wing had not gone through a noise approval process, as required under the Australian Air Navigation (Aircraft Noise) Regulations 2018.
At the time, a spokesman for the federal department said the size and type of Wing's drones meant it was exempt from the process - an explanation refuted by Mr McIntyre.
However, the spokesman said the department was looking into potential noise regulations for drones, but would not provide further details.
Since then, Mr McIntyre and members of the action group Bonython Against Drones have written to federal transport minister Michael McCormack and Prime Minister Scott Morrison with their concerns.
In an update to its website on Tuesday, the department said it had now "formed the view" that a range of commercial and recreational drones should be subject to the noise approval process.
Mr McIntyre said he felt vindicated by the department's decision to launch a review.
"I think that the problem was that they [the department] just weren't aware that the the drone was actually an aircraft and therefore required approval," he said.
"They just seemed so caught up on the word drone."
Mr McIntyre was confident that any noise restrictions resulting from the review would prevent the type of disturbances which riled up the Bonython community throughout Wing's trial.
The review is designed to determine the "appropriate scope and breadth of future noise regulation", according to the department.
It will look at existing state and territory regulations that cover "noise from equipment operating in urban environments", while also considering any examples in which refining the aircraft's design or varying flight paths might reduce potential disturbances.
The department said it would not take retrospective enforcement action against drone operators, despite requests from the community.
However, it said it has been conducting noise testing of Wing's drones as the company rolls out its service in Gungahlin. Flight numbers have also been capped during Wing's "early flyer program", which is offering deliveries to 100 homes in Crace, Palmerston and Franklin.
While the review is ongoing, the department said it would focus its "regulatory resources" on commercial operations in residential areas - such as Wing's service in Gungahlin.
The department has granted Wing approval to fly in Canberra's north until July 31.
A Wing spokeswoman would not be drawn on whether the company had sought an extension, but said it remained committed to "gradually expand" to more customers in the region in the coming months.
"Wing secures all of the necessary permissions required to operate our service before we commence flying. We have been and will continue to work with the Australian government on its review of drone regulations to ensure our continued compliance," she said.