Alice misses out again on Qantas pilot academy

By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

Alice Springs has missed out to Mackay, Queensland, as the preferred location for the second Qantas Group Pilot Academy site.

 

The airline says on its website this follows a competitive process to select two locations from a shortlist of nine regional cities, with Toowoomba in southern Queensland announced as the first location for the Academy last September.

 

“Mackay was selected due to a high proportion of clear weather days per year, access to uncongested airspace, access to support infrastructure and ability to attract students and trainers to live in the area.

 

“Mackay offers optimal flying conditions and a sunny Queensland lifestyle which makes it an ideal site for a pilot academy.

 

“It’s home to good infrastructure, a proud community – even a new, state-of-the-art sport and recreation precinct for students, trainers and their families. We were really moved by the way locals came together with the #MackayWantsYouQantas campaign.

 

“In the meantime, Qantas is focused on opening the Pilot Academy’s first site in Toowoomba which is on track to open its doors to the first student intake in September 2019 with construction on hangars, classrooms and student accommodation underway.”

 

Assistant Minister for State Development and Member for Mackay, Julieanne Gilbert, is quoted in the release that Qantas’s decision was a vote of confidence and will create jobs in Mackay, and in Queensland.

 

“Mackay has a welcoming community that is close knit, inclusive, and culturally sensitive with established networks that will make Qantas and the student pilots feel welcome.”

 

IMAGE: Qantas livery showing Wunula Dreaming of the Yantuwa people in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

 

 

UPDATE 2pm:

 

It appears that Alice missed out narrowly, being “potentially” next in line to be chosen, says Alice Springs airport manager Dave Batic.
 

“They were very impressed with our submission.

 

“We are of course disappointed but we are delighted to be short listed which means, I guess, we are still in the running for potential pilot academies, if not just Qantas but other airlines. We are going to issue expressions of interest to airlines outside Australia as well.”

 

He says airlines in the Asia Pacific region are looking for airspace.

 

“The opportunity is still there. Qantas isn’t the only airline.

 

“Unfortunately they chose two schools in Queensland, but what it did show is that we have the climate, the airspace and everything else that’s required. We are still going to pursue it.”

 

The day wasn’t all bad for Mr Batic: His entry got first place in the grapefruit section at the annual Alice Springs Show opening today.

 

 

 

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3 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Psuedo Guru
    Posted July 20, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    Qld Labor government: $83bn debt, promises concessions to Qantas to secure the second pilot academy?

    View Comment
  2. Uncle Hucklebuck
    Posted July 11, 2019 at 6:00 am

    Destroying Mother Nature and putting up a whole bunch of concrete and asphalt everywhere isn’t always “progress” or “improvement”.
    Do you really want Alice to turn into another Sydney, London or LA crowded with a whole mess of greedy nincompoops and you yourselves lose your true freedom and space and become total slaves to the system? Not me.

    View Comment
  3. Psuedo Guru
    Posted July 5, 2019 at 10:19 pm

    Alice Springs qualifies for a pilot academy but landing costs must be re-assessed.

    View Comment

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