Qantas has chosen Mackay, Queensland, as the
preferred location for its second Pilot Academy site.
The decision follows a competitive process to
select two locations from a shortlist of nine regional cities,
with Toowoomba in southern Queensland announced as the first
location for the Academy last September.
Estimates suggest that 790,000 more pilots will
be required globally over the next 20 years with around one third
of them in the Asia Pacific.
Qantas says that Mackay was selected due to a high proportion of
clear weather days per year, access to uncongested airspace,
access to support infrastructure and ability to attract students
and trainers to live in the area.
Qantas will now work with Mackay Regional
Council, Mackay Airport and the Queensland Government to further
progress the proposal for the site.
In the meantime, Qantas is focused on opening
the Pilot Academy’s first site in Toowoomba which is on track to
open its doors to the first student intake in September 2019 with
construction on hangars, classrooms and student accommodation
Qantas Group Pilot Academy Executive Manager,
Wes Nobelius, said, “Mackay offers optimal flying conditions and a
sunny Queensland lifestyle which makes it an ideal site for a
pilot academy. It’s home to good
infrastructure, a proud community – even a new, state-of-the-art
sport and recreation precinct for students, trainers and their
families. We were really moved by the way locals came together
with the #MackayWantsYouQantas campaign. Our initial focus is
opening the first Pilot Academy site in Toowoomba and rapidly
expanding the number of pilots there next year, before we progress
our plans for Mackay.”
Applications for interested students opened in
May and Qantas’ appointed training provider, Flight Training
Adelaide (FTA) is working through the selection process for the
first intake of students at Toowoomba.