Pilot shortages in Australia?

Things are looking good in Oz at least – much against world trends, where the common belief is that this is not a sexy job to work in any more.

Qantas Group announced today the selection of Toowoomba West Wellcamp Airport in southern Queensland as the first of two regional locations for its new Qantas Group Pilot Academy. Selection criteria include 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. The first academy site it due to open by mid-2019.

In announcing today that its first new Australian Flying School will be at Queensland’s Wellcamp Airport, near Toowoomba, Qantas noted:

“Applications for student enrolments will open by the end of this year. More than 18,000 people have so far registered their interest in the Academy via qantas.com/pilotacademy .”

The facility will have capacity to train up to 250 pilots p/a, from Australia and overseas. Construction of the Academy’s facilities at Wellcamp Airport – including new hangar, classroom facilities and student accommodation – will commence in Nov-2018. The first students are due to commence training in mid 2019.

The investment in new infrastructure is estimated at AUD35 million (USD25.4 million), with the majority of this funding contributed from private sector partners. The facility will be constructed in partnership with the Queensland Government and the Wagner Corporation, the owner of Wellcamp Airport. Qantas appointed L3 Commercial Aviation as the training provider for the new Qantas Group Pilot Academy at Toowoomba West Wellcamp Airport. L3 has pilot training academies in the UK, Portugal, the US and New Zealand. Toowoomba is L3’s first training operation in Australia.

Alice Springs, Bendigo, Busselton, Dubbo, Launceston, Mackay, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga are still under consideration for the second academy site.