Qantas has announced its new pilot training centre in Sydney will be located in St. Peters in the city’s Inner West.
The airline said the facility would house eight flight simulators and train 4,500 new and current pilots – including those set to fly Project Sunrise direct flights from London to the east coast.
However, it will now open in early 2024, rather than a year earlier as previously hoped.
Chief executive Alan Joyce said, “Sydney will be the launch city for our non-stop flights to London and New York, and will now be the home of pilot training for the A350s, which will operate these flights from 2025.
“As our international network recovers from the impact of COVID and we grow our fleet, this new training centre will give us the simulator capacity to train our new and current pilots.”
Qantas relocated simulators from Sydney to Melbourne and Brisbane in 2021, and the return to NSW will be fast-tracked by the state government.
The facility will also have fixed flight training devices, emergency procedures equipment with aircraft cabin mock-ups, and classroom and training facilities.
Simulators include those to service the ultra-long-range A350s, double-decker A380s and its upcoming fleet of narrowbody A320s. You can see a full list at the bottom of this article.
Alongside the internal training, provider CAE will maintain the simulators and manage the centre’s day-to-day operations as part of a long-term partnership.
When complete in 2024, Sydney-based pilots currently travelling interstate to do their training will resume practice in their home state.
“Having flight training centres in all three eastern states, where the majority of our crew reside, will provide significant cost savings and efficiencies by training them at their home base,” said Joyce.
“We’d like to thank the NSW Government for its support for this world-class facility, which will generate broader economic benefits for the state.”
Qantas’ national flight training footprint includes centres in three states, including the newly opened Qantas Brisbane Flight Training Centre, as well as the Qantas Group Pilot Academy in Toowoomba, which supports the airline’s long-term pipeline of talent and its Nancy Bird Walton initiative to reach 40 per cent intake of female cadet pilots by 2028.
In May last year, Australian Aviation reported that neither of Qantas’ major bases in NSW and Victoria would relocate, despite previously announcing it was mulling shifting its hubs to one city.
The business hinted it received incentives to stay put, including “payroll tax relief, tourism marketing funding, property rebates, training support and direct incentives”.
It had sparked a state bidding war when it said “anything that can move” is “on the table”, including its facilities in Mascot, Collingwood and Brisbane.
The full list of supported simulators in the Sydney facility are: