Qantas regional subsidiary QantasLink has announced an expansion of its Dash 8 turboprop maintenance facilities at Tamworth.
The expansion will see the upgrade of QantasLink’s existing Tamworth Airport hangar and the expansion into a second hangar, and will lead to the creation of 25 new jobs at the site.
“The new hangar allows us to do two maintenance checks on two aircraft at the same time, which helps us meet our maintenance schedules, improve productivity and reduce operating costs,” QantasLink chief executive John Gissing said in a statement on Thursday.
“We’ve grown our fleet significantly over recent years and we needed to expand our maintenance capabilities to handle the demand.”
QantasLink conducts all heavy mainteance on its Dash 8 fleet – which now comprises 31 Q400s, 16 Q300s and three Q200s – at Tamworth, where it currently employs 100 people.
The news is a welcome fillip for the NSW regional centre, given it could potentially lose the Australian Defence Force’s Basic Flying Training School (BFTS), which is currently based at Tamworth Airport. The ADF’s AIR 5428 Pilot Training System project, which is currently under tender evaluation, could see initial ADF pilot training relocated to RAAF Base East Sale in Victoria.
“The New South Wales government and Tamworth Regional Council have been strong supporters of the facility and we thank them for their investment support,” Gissing said.
Collectively, the state government, Tamworth council and Qantas are investing $1.2 million in the facilities upgrade, a Qantas spokesperson confirmed via email. The expanded facitlies are due to open over coming weeks.