Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Rocky Fails to Land Qantas Academy Bid; Mackay Makes Short List While Rockhampton Misses Out

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Rocky Fails to Land Qantas Academy Bid; Mackay Makes Short List While Rockhampton Misses Out

Article excerpt

ROCKHAMPTON is missing from a short list of nine regional cities left in the running to be home to the new Qantas Group Pilot Academy.

The Qantas Group released the list yesterday following submissions from more than 60 regional cities.

Rockhampton had put forward a strong case but appears to have been overlooked for other centres such as Mackay and Toowoomba.

The list of cities selected to move to the next phase of the process is:

* Alice Springs, Northern Territory

* Bendigo, Victoria

* Busselton, Western Australia

* Dubbo, NSW

* Launceston, Tasmania

* Mackay, Queensland

* Tamworth, NSW

* Toowoomba, Queensland

* Wagga Wagga, NSW.

The academy, due to open its doors in 2019, is part of the Qantas Group's plans to build a long-term talent pipeline for its airlines and meet the increasing need for skilled aviators in one of the world's fastest-growing industries.

Estimates suggest the global airline industry needs more than 640,000 additional pilots over the next 20 years -- 40 per cent of them in the Asia Pacific region.

Last month, regional cities and state governments were invited to co-ordinate their applications, putting forward their best case to be the home of the new pilot academy.

Criteria included access to uncongested airspace, a certain number of clear weather days a year and infrastructure to support and accommodate up to 100 students in the first year of operation.

The Qantas Group Pilot Academy management team will visit these nine cities in coming weeks and meet with community leaders, suppliers and airport operators to further evaluate the feasibility of each location.

A final decision on the academy's location is expected to be made in the third quarter of this year.

Qantas Group Pilot Academy executive manager Wes Nobelius thanked all the regional cities and state and territory governments for their time and interest. …

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