Qantas will open the first campus of its pilot academy at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp airport in mid-2019.
Construction of the facilities for the pilot training centre is expected to start in the next month. The cost of the investment has been put at A$35 million ($25.4 million), which Qantas says is largely being funded by private sector partners.
“In partnership with the Queensland Government and the Wagner Corporation, who own the airport, we’ll build state-of-the-art training facilities and student accommodation. What we’re ultimately creating is a world-class pilot school for students from Australia and around the globe,” says Qantas group chief executive Alan Joyce.
Qantas says that the academy will help to train up new pilots for the wider Qantas Group, and will also cater to third-party clients.
The airline has contracted L3 Commercial Aviation as the training provider for the Wellcamp site. It will provide a number of single and twin engine aircraft to support the training.
Selection of a second site for the academy is still underway, with eight other regional centres – including Tamworth, Alice Springs, Busselton and Launceston – under consideration. An announcement on the second site is expected by the end of the year.
Once operating at full capacity across the two sites, Qantas expects to train up to 500 pilots each year.