Qantas Group’s new pilot academy at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport (WTB) has been officially launched today.
With the capacity to train up to 250 pilots each year, Qantas hopes The Pilot Academy will build a long-term talent pipeline for the airline and its subsidiaries Jetstar and QantasLink plus the wider industry.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said some of the airline’s future 787 Dreamliner and A380 Captains would be graduates of the Academy.
More than 800,000 more pilots are required globally over the next 20 years according to Boeing, with around one third of them in the Asia Pacific.
The first 34 students commenced training at the new facilities in early January on the single-engine Diamond DA40 and multi-engine DA42 aircraft.
100 students are expected to be in training by the end of 2020.
According to Qantas, the academy has the potential to train as many as 500 pilots each year across two locations including Toowoomba and Mackay – the preferred location for the second academy site.
“Qantas Group pilots have a long-held reputation for being amongst the best in the world because of their high standards of training, and that tradition continues with the launch of our own Pilot Academy,” Joyce said.
The training facilities comprise a 1,500 square metre hangar, four flight training simulators, classrooms as well as purpose-built pre-flight briefing and flight scheduling areas.
The academy also aims to increase the proportion of female and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander pilots in the industry via a scholarship program developed by Qantas.
Upon graduation, alumni of the academy will hold a commercial pilot licence and join the Qantas’’s, or its partner airline’s, pilot talent pool.