Qantas has launched a formal process asking regional cities and state governments to put forward proposals to host its planned pilot academy, due to open in 2019.
The academy will aim to train pilots for the Qantas Group of airlines and meet the increasing need for skilled aviators across the industry.
The airline is looking to base the academy at a regional centre with an airfield, access to uncongested airspace and the infrastructure to support and accommodate up to 100 students in the first year of operation, with the potential to ultimately grow to up to 500 students a year by training pilots for other airlines.
More than 40 regional cities have indicated they’ll be making a bid to be home to the academy.Qantas Group pilot academy executive manager Wes Nobelius
Lower Eyre Peninsula District Council chief executive officer Rodney Pearson said earlier this year the council would welcome discussions with Qantas in relation to establishing a pilot training academy based at the Port Lincoln Airport, which he said had the space to accommodate it.
Qantas Group pilot academy executive manager Wes Nobelius said the academy had inspired enthusiasm from regional cities around Australia and from suppliers across the aviation industry.
“We’re really pleased with the response we’ve had from local communities,” Mr Nobelius said.
“We’ve already had some very positive discussions with governments and state leaders.
“More than 40 regional cities have indicated they’ll be making a bid to be home to the academy.”
He said the process would be very competitive and Qantas was encouraging every region to put their best case forward.
More than 12,500 aspiring pilots have so far registered their interest in the academy via qantas.com/pilotacademy.
The closing date for submissions is June 8 and a shortlist will be announced before a final decision on the location is made in the third quarter of this year.