When a pilot academy lands, the economy takes off
Have you seen the arrivals board? A multi-million-dollar Qantas pilot training academy is set to land in Toowoomba. So what’s next?
First comes construction, because high-tech training needs high-tech facilities. As part of the build at Wellcamp Airport, there’ll be another aircraft hangar, a new taxiway, training rooms and student accommodation facilities. All that translates to 160 direct jobs, and around 300 indirect jobs in the local construction industry.
Then there are the opportunities for young people. Even with a global shortage of pilots, gaining entry to aviation training in Queensland is highly competitive and many talented young people simply miss out. With hundreds of places for trainees, the new pilot academy will open up new career paths (and flight paths) for Queenslanders, and set them up for the jobs of the future.
More specifically, the Qantas pilot training academy brings more opportunities for our young women. Last year, Qantas announced the Nancy Bird Walton initiative to improve on its 5% proportion of female pilots. They’ve committed to a 20% intake of qualified women in this year’s Future Pilot Program, and they’re hoping that’ll soar to at least 40% over the next decade.
And finally, there are the flow-on economic effects. When the pilot training academy is up and running, it will be putting a quarter of a billion dollars into the local economy, and bringing benefits to the whole region. And with domestic and international aviation students inbound, the pilot training academy will show the world what regional Queensland can offer — the perfect mix of capability and liveability.
Flow-on economic effects explained: 250 pilot academy students come to town. The students order coffee at the cafe near the airport. Business booms at the café, so the owners renovate the kitchen. The kitchen contractor hires a local tiler. Word of mouth from the café job snags the tiler enough new work to warrant a new website, so she employs a local web designer. It goes on and on.
So, this is the final boarding call; Queensland’s economy is taking off.
Want to find out how we’re invested in growing Queensland’s aerospace sector? Take a look at our Queensland Aerospace 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan.