Qantas has announced it intends to open its pilot academy at Toowoomba´s Wellcamp airport in mid-2019, the company said.
Construction of the facilities for the pilot training centre is expected to start in the fall of 2018, and is expected to cost approximately AUD 35m (USD 24.5m). Qantas said the investment is largely funded by private sector partners.
Quantas said it plans to create a pilot school for students from Australia and around the world. 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.
Qantas Airways is the flag carrier of Australia and its largest airline by fleet size, international flights and international destinations. It is the third oldest airline in the world, after KLM and Avianca having been founded in November 1920; it began international passenger flights in May 1935.