Qantas has named Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) as the new training provider for its pilot academy at Wellcamp Airport in Toowoomba, west of Brisbane.
In September 2018, Qantas announced the privately-owned Wellcamp Airport as the site for the first of two pilot training academies, with United States-based L3 Commercial Aviation named as the training provider.
However, L3 Commercial Aviation dropped out of the project in March 2019, with the company saying at the time it was unable to reach an agreement with Qantas.
On Friday, Qantas announced FTA as the new training provider, with the South Australia-based company to train the first intake of cadets that were due to arrive in September in Diamond DA40 single engine and the DA42 multi-engine aircraft.
Further, some of the airline group’s senior pilots would be part of a mentoring program.
Qantas group chief executive Alan Joyce said Toowoomba would be a world-class training school for future pilots, with applications now open.
“We want to attract passionate young men and women to learn from the best, to become the best,” Joyce said in a statement on Friday.
“More than 22,000 people have so far registered their interest in the Academy so we expect there to be some exceptional talent amongst them putting their hand up to commence their pilot training.”
Other clients included Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Fiji Airways and QantasLink, according to the FTA website.
Qantas’s Toowoomba flight school, which is being built to handle up to 250 students a year, will comprise a new hangar, classrooms and accommodation facilities.
The school was offering three training programs, the AVI50215 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane), the AVI50415 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) and AVI60216 Advanced Diploma of Aviation (Pilot in Command).
The courses would take a year to complete, with successful students to gain a commercial pilots licence (CPL) and multi-engine instrument rating (ME IR) from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).
The courses also qualified for theory credits for CASA’s airline transport pilot licence (ATPL), as well as a CASA multi-crew cooperation certificate, Qantas said.
“After graduation, students will automatically join the Qantas Group’s pilot talent pool and have access to opportunities with other partners which will help fast track placement in the aviation industry,” Qantas said.
At the time of the launch in September 2018, Qantas has planned for construction on the facility at Wellcamp to have begun in October that year, with the school opened in mid-2019.
On Friday, the company said final designs for the hangars, classrooms and student accommodation were lodged with local council in April, with construction expected to start “in coming months” and be completed by January 2020.
“In the meantime, the first intake of students will be accommodated at the University of Southern Queensland,” Qantas said.
Queensland minister for state development, manufacturing, infrastructure and planning Cameron Dick said the state government’s advance Queensland industry attraction fund was supporting the flight school.
Qantas said the location of its second site for the pilot training academy would be announced soon. Alice Springs, Bendigo, Busselton, Dubbo, Launceston, Mackay and Wagga Wagga were under consideration.
“We’re conscious there are several regional cities still waiting to hear whether they have been successful as the home of our second academy and we really appreciate their patience, as we focus on getting the first site to this stage,” Joyce said.
The 2018-2037 Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook showed 790,000 new pilots would be needed over the next two decades across the commercial, business and helicopter sector.
Further, it forecast demand for 754,000 new aviation technicians between now and 2037.
Asia Pacific represented the largest source of demand with 31 per cent of all new pilots, 34.1 per cent of all technicians and 36.1 per cent of all cabin crew to be recruited in the region between now and 2037.
More information and details on how to apply are on the Qantas pilot academy website.