Government investigates Qantas WA pilot school

11/05/2018 - 14:13

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The McGowan government says it will set up a taskforce to investigate establishing a pilot training academy in Western Australia, after Qantas today launched a formal request for proposals from state governments across the country.

Qantas has outlined a set of criteria for the location of a new facility.

The McGowan government says it will set up a taskforce to investigate establishing a pilot training academy in Western Australia, after Qantas today launched a formal request for proposals from state governments across the country.

Qantas has outlined a set of criteria for the location of a new facility, which includes infrastructure, environment, airspace, teaching facilities and student accommodation.

The company said it planned to open the school next year, with an initial intake of 100 students.

The government said the taskforce would formalise the state’s comparative advantages.

The taskforce will consider a number of potential location options, including Busselton-Margaret River, Jandakot, Geraldton, Cunderdin and Albany.

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the government was eager to engage with Qantas.

“We are actively investigating how we can make sure Western Australia capitalises on its clear strengths in terms of location, weather, abundance of space and existing infrastructure,” he said.

“The government has been working hard to consolidate our recent success in building WA’s role as the western gateway to Australia, Asia and beyond - and a pilot training school would be a strong step forward for WA as an aviation transport hub.”

WA currently has the China Southern West Australian Flying College in Merredin, as well as Singapore Airlines’ training operation at Jandakot Airport.

Qantas Group pilot academy executive manager Wes Nobelius said the company was pleased with the response it had received so far.

“More than 40 regional cities have indicated they’ll be making a bid to be home to the academy,” he said.

“The process will be very competitive and although there can only be one academy, we’re encouraging every region to put their best case forward.”

Some of the requirements outlined by Qantas include a minimum runway length of 1,300 metres, weather conditions that allow for more than 300 days of flying per year, and access to a mix of controlled and uncontrolled airspace.

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