Applications have today opened for the new Qantas Group Pilot Academy, due to open its doors to the first student intake in Toowoomba in September this year.
The Academy is part of the Qantas Group’s strategy to build a long-term talent pipeline for its own airlines and help the broader industry meet the increasing need for skilled aviators.
Estimates suggest that 790,000 more pilots will be required globally over the next 20 years with around one third of them in the Asia Pacific.
Toowoomba in Southern Queensland was announced last year as the first of two locations for the Academy, chosen from a shortlist of nine regional cities. Alice Springs, Bendigo, Busselton, Dubbo, Launceston, Mackay and Wagga Wagga are all still under consideration for the second Academy site with a decision expected to be made soon.
Qantas has been progressing the development of the Academy’s facilities, together with the Wagner Corporation and support from the Queensland Government. Final designs for the hangars, classrooms and student accommodation to be built were lodged with Council in April and construction is expected to start in coming months. In the meantime, the first intake of students will be accommodated at the University of Southern Queensland.
Qantas has appointed Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) as the training provider for the Toowoomba site, in a partnership that will see them extend their reach to Queensland. FTA will bring a mix of modern single and twin-engine aircraft with glass cockpits to support the training with a mentoring program that will involve of some of the Qantas Group’s most senior pilots.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the Academy was gearing up to start training the next generation of Australian pilots.
“Qantas has a proud history for having some of the best pilots in the world. We want to attract passionate young men and women to learn from the best, to become the best,” said Mr Joyce.
“More than 22,000 people have so far registered their interest in the Academy so we expect there to be some exceptional talent amongst them putting their hand up to commence their pilot training.
“We’ve partnered with FTA, a leading training provider, and will offer purpose-built facilities and student accommodation. The Toowoomba site will be a world-class training school for future pilots, not just for the Qantas Group but for the broader industry, too.
“We look forward to welcoming the first students to the Academy later this year.
“We’re conscious there are several regional cities still waiting to hear whether they have been successful as the home of our second academy and we really appreciate their patience, as we focus on getting the first site to this stage.”
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the Qantas Group Pilot Academy, to be built at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, would open up new aviation career pathways in regional Queensland.
“This announcement means more jobs for regional Queensland,” Mr Dick said.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s $105 million Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund has supported this exciting project, and I’m delighted a training provider has been appointed and applications are now open for the first intake of students.
“Now, it’s time for take-off, and we’re excited to keep working with major project partners Qantas, Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport and Toowoomba Regional Council to deliver and maximise this project.”
The Academy course has been designed to train students with little to no flying experience and includes both theory and practical components. Students will graduate with a number of qualifications including a Commercial Pilot Licence and relevant qualifications, ready to commence a career in commercial or general aviation.
After graduation, students will join the Qantas Group’s pilot talent pool and have access to opportunities with partners in the aviation industry.
Qantas will be offering a scholarships program to make a number of grants available. These range from covering the cost of accommodation through to full training.
Budding pilots can apply at qantas.com/pilotacademy.
The national carrier has said that addressing the gender imbalance among pilots – which globally stands at just five per cent women – will be key to meeting market demand for aviators. Around 17 per cent of the 22,000 people who have registered their interest in the Academy are female.
Key information for interested students
- The application process consists of a pilot aptitude test, core skills test and an interview. Testing will be held in selected cities, including Toowoomba and Adelaide. A $200 fee will be payable and any travel will be at the applicant’s own expense.
- The following training programs will be offered at the Toowoomba site:
- AVI50215 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane)
- AVI50415 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating)
- AVI60216 Advanced Diploma of Aviation (Pilot in Command)
- All three qualifications can be completed in 52 weeks (and may be extended if weather conditions affect flying hours).
- On successful completion of the qualifications above, students will also qualify for the following CASA licences and ratings:
- CASA Commercial Pilots Licence (CPL)
- CASA Multi-Engine Instrument Rating (ME IR)
- CASA theory credits for an Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) and
- CASA Multi-Crew Cooperation Certificate
- No minimum academic qualifications are required, however a strong understanding of maths and science at a senior high school level is desirable. Students need to be at least 18 years of age to apply for a CASA Commercial Pilots Licence.
- After graduation, students will automatically join the Qantas Group’s pilot talent pool and have access to opportunities with other partners which will help fast track placement in the aviation industry.
- Students will have access to funding options and access to a range of scholarships.
For full details about the course, visit qantas.com/pilotacademy.