Two Queensland regional airports in Qantas training academy shortlist
Mackay and Toowoomba have today been shortlisted by Qantas as potential locations for the establishment of a multi-million dollar pilot training academy.
Qantas today named a total nine airports across Australia on the shortlist for selection to build the Qantas Group Pilot Academy, with Queensland leading most other states with two regional cities in the running. After receiving more than 60 regional cities proposals, two were shortlisted.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government had worked closely with Queensland’s regional centers to put forward competitive proposals for the new academy which will train up to 500 pilots a year.
“In addition to Queensland being the historic home to our national carrier nearly a century ago, our state has a number of distinct advantages over other states and their regional airports,” she said.
“Toowoomba and Mackay have strong regional communities, offering great lifestyle opportunities, excellent supply capabilities and established infrastructure networks with easy connectivity both nationally and internationally.
“Qantas’ decision to select Queensland as an operating base for half of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet in Brisbane under a deal secured by my government and supporting 470 direct and indirect jobs shows that Queensland continues to be a trusted partner of Qantas and has the capability to provide high-quality support to the aviation sector.
“Queensland put the Q in Qantas. We want to make sure it stays there.”
Mr Nobelius said cities could still be in contention to host a second academy if the demand for pilots was strong enough – including training foreign students on behalf of airlines overseas.
However, “The way that communities have come together to develop some outstanding proposals has been fantastic”.
“From ideas around scholarships to a community photo shoot in Mackay and a video message from the children of Dubbo, we’ve been really impressed with the quality of responses and the level of support on offer,” he said.
Mr. Dick said the State Government had targeted the aerospace and defense industries with 10 Year roadmaps to grow jobs in these industries and this training facility would be a widely welcome addition.
“We want this facility in regional Queensland and, just like we won LAND400, we are prepared to work hard for it,” he said.
“Our government will work closely with Qantas in this next shortlisting round to ensure that Queensland is selected for the location of this new academy.
“Where better to train the next generation of pilots than the birthplace of Qantas.”
More than 60 regional cities put forward a proposal and nine regional cities across Australia have now been shortlisted by Qantas:
A final decision on the Academy’s location is expected to be made in the third quarter of this year, with the academy expected to open its doors in 2019.
November 2017 marked 97 years since Qantas was founded in Winton, and 95 years since the airline flew its first scheduled passenger service from Longreach to Cloncurry.