Qantas to build flying school in regional Queensland

Posted: 1st Oct

A new multi-million-dollar pilot training centre will be built in Toowoomba on Queensland's Darling Downs, as part of a plan by airline giant Qantas to keep up with growing global demand.

The site at Toowoomba's Wellcamp Airport will be one of two centres to be built across Australia — with the second location yet to be announced.

Earlier this year, Toowoomba and Mackay had been shortlisted among seven other regional locations, including Alice Springs, Bendigo, Busselton, Dubbo, Launceston, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.

The $35 million academy and accommodation facility will have an initial intake of 100 pilots when it opens its doors next year, with a capacity of up to 250 pilots a year.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said enrolments will be open to domestic and international students.

"What we're ultimately creating is a world-class pilot school for students from Australia and around the globe," he said.

"Toowoomba will be an amazing place to learn to fly.

"It's home to Australia's newest airport and offers over 300 days of Queensland sunshine each year and an environment that is textbook for pilot training."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk would not reveal how much money her Government contributed to secure the facility in Toowoomba but said it was justified.

"Today we know this will be the home for training and the next generation of Qantas pilots," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"This gives confidence not just to Toowoomba city, but to confidence in Queensland."

More than 18,000 people have so far registered their interest for enrolments online.

Construction will begin next month at Wellcamp airport, and will be operational by mid-2019.

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