Mackay makes shortlist for the new Qantas Group Pilot Academy

Posted: 25th Jun

The Qantas Group has today released a shortlist of the nine regional cities in the running to be home to the new Qantas Group Pilot Academy and Mackay as among them.

The Academy, due to open its doors in 2019, is part of the Qantas Group’s plans to build a long-term talent pipeline for its airlines and meet the increasing need for skilled aviators in one of the world’s fastest growing industries. Estimates suggest the global airline industry needs more than 640,000 more pilots over the next 20 years – 40 per cent of them in the Asia Pacific region.

Last month, regional cities and state governments were invited to coordinate their applications, putting forward their best case to be the home of the new Pilot Academy. Criteria included access to uncongested airspace, a certain number of clear weather days per year and infrastructure to support and accommodate up to 100 students in the first year of operation.

More than 60 regional cities put forward a proposal and nine regional cities across Australia, strongly supported by State and Territory Governments, have now been selected to move to the next phase of the process:

  • Alice Springs, Northern Territory
  • Bendigo, Victoria
  • Busselton, Western Australia
  • Dubbo, New South Wales
  • Launceston, Tasmania
  • Mackay, Queensland
  • Tamworth, New South Wales
  • Toowoomba, Queensland
  • Wagga Wagga, New South Wales

The Qantas Group Pilot Academy management team will visit these nine cities in coming weeks and meet with community leaders, suppliers and airport operators to further evaluate the feasibility of each location.

A final decision on the Academy’s location is expected to be made in the third quarter of this year.

Qantas Group Pilot Academy Executive Manager, Wes Nobelius, thanked all the regional cities and state and territory governments for their time and interest.

“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,” said Mr Nobelius.

“Narrowing down the possible locations from more than 60 to just nine wasn’t easy. It will be harder still to whittle this down to just one.”

Mackay received a special shout-out in the Qantas media release.

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,” said Mr Nobelius.

Contact: Mackay Regional Council

Phone: 1300 MACKAY (622 529)

Published: 22 Jun 2018

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