Exciting news for aspiring pilots in Queensland today, with it being revealed that Toowoomba will be home to a new Qantas pilot training academy set to open in mid-2019.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk joined Qantas at Wellcamp Airport for the announcement of the Academy this morning.
It’s understood the aviation training school will have capacity to train up to 250 pilots a year and create up to 160 jobs in training and support roles.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the airport, state and local government, and the community had demonstrated that Toowoomba would make a great home for the first Qantas Group Pilot Academy site.
“Qantas has a well-earned reputation of having some of the world’s best pilots. For many of them, the journey will start right here in Toowoomba,” Mr Joyce said.
“Toowoomba will be an amazing place to learn to fly. It’s home to Australia’s newest airport and offers over 300 days of Queensland sunshine each year and an environment that is textbook for pilot training.”
Mr Joyce said the company has already had thousands of students express their interest in moving to Toowoomba for the pilot training.
“In partnership with the Queensland Government and the Wagner Corporation, who own the airport, we’ll build state-of-the-art training facilities and student accommodation. What we’re ultimately creating is a world-class pilot school for students from Australia and around the globe,” he said.
Toowoomba is the first of two locations chosen from a shortlist of nine regional cities, with Alice Springs, Bendigo, Busselton, Dubbo, Launceston, Mackay, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga still under consideration for the second academy site.
According to Qantas, selection criteria includes access to uncongested airspace, a high proportion of clear weather days per year, access to support infrastructure and ability to attract students and trainers to live in the area.
Construction of the Academy’s new facilities at Wellcamp Airport will begin next month with the first students to commence training in mid-2019.
So far, more than 18,000 people have already registered their interest in the Academy via qantas.com/pilotacademy.