Qantas has broken ground on a new multi-million-dollar pilot training facility in Sydney, which it says will train up to 4,500 Qantas and Jetstar pilots and cabin crew per year including for its A350 Project Sunrise flights to New York and London.
Slated for completion in early 2024, the facility in St Peters near Sydney Airport will include up to eight full-motion simulators, as well as classrooms, cabin mock-ups with emergency equipment, and flight training devices.
The full-motion simulators and fixed flight training devices will instruct new pilots in operating A380, A350, A330, A320, B787, B738, A380 FTD, A330 FTD, and B787 FTD aircraft, with lessons to be conducted by senior Qantas and Jetstar training captains.
The opening of the new custom-built centre – which will measure approximately 7000m2 of floor space over three levels – will bring Qantas simulated flight training back to Sydney after it was shifted to Brisbane and Melbourne in 2021 to make way for the Sydney Gateway road project.
“Qantas provides training for thousands of pilots and cabin crew each year and this purpose-built facility will ensure our high training standards continue as we introduce the next generation of aircraft, grow our network and create new high skilled jobs,” said CEO Alan Joyce.
“We’ll receive an average of one new aircraft every three weeks for the next three years across the Qantas Group, and more simulator capacity to train new and current pilots is critical.
“Sydney will be the launch city for our non-stop flights to London and New York, and will soon be the home of pilot training for the A350s, which will operate these flights from late 2025.”
International training provider CAE will manage day-to-day operations at the new facility, as well as maintaining all simulators and training equipment. CAE’s Group President, Civil Aviation, Nick Leontidis, said Qantas shares CAE’s “unwavering commitment to safety”.
“CAE Sydney will be a state-of-the-art training centre with advanced full-flight simulators, including a brand new A320 FFS, that will deliver immersive training, and give pilots the skill and confidence they need for the moments that matter in flight,” he said.
“CAE operates 50+ civil aviation training centres around the world and we look forward to bringing our expertise to Sydney to deliver an exceptional training experience for Qantas Group pilots and cabin crew.”
When the new centre opens next year, Qantas will have training facilities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, as well as its Pilot Academy in Toowoomba.