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Source: Government of Queensland Regions

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Acting Minister for State Development Mark Furner joined Qantas officials at Wellcamp Airport to greet the student pilots as they began their first day of training.

“The arrival of the Qantas student pilots in Toowoomba signals that we’re delivering on the Queensland Government’s key priority to create jobs and attract business investment to Queensland, particularly in regional areas,” Mr Furner said.

“The Qantas Group Pilot Training Academy will have capacity to train up to 250 pilots each year at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport and will create up to 160 jobs in training and support roles.

“Construction of the academy is well underway and is already creating up to 100 direct jobs and up to 300 additional jobs in the wider construction sector.

“Business, highly skilled jobs, training and career opportunities are sure to flow from this pilot training academy and the Toowoomba region is ideally placed to take advantage of that.”

Mr Furner said Toowoomba can be proud that these pilots of the future will now make the Darling Downs their home, as they embark on their exciting first steps as future aviators.

“This is a giant step forward for Toowoomba’s growing aviation industry and the start of an exciting new chapter in Queensland’s journey as a leader in aviation training,” he said.

“This project is a great example of the Palaszczuk Government working with the private sector and local councils to create world-class facilities, which contribute to the long-term economically sustainable future of regional communities.”

QantasLink Chief Executive John Gissing said the first day of class was an exciting moment for students and an important milestone for the Academy.

“The Qantas Group Pilot Academy was born out of a need to create the next generation of Australian pilots and together with our partners, we’re very excited to welcome the first intake here today,” Mr Gissing said.

“Throughout their course, these students will have access to world-class training and mentoring from some of the Qantas Group’s most senior pilots.”

Spokesperson for the Wagner Corporation, Neill Wagner said it was a great privilege to welcome the first academy student pilots to Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport.

“We are proud that these student’s flying career will begin here on the Darling Downs,” Mr Wagner said.

“We see ourselves as an enabler for securing education and employment opportunities in the aviation industry for young people in our community.”

Mr Furner said targeting education and training resources was a key component of the Queensland Government’s Queensland Aerospace 10-year Roadmap and Action Plan.

“Boeing has estimated that the Asia-Pacific region alone will need an extra 248,000 pilots by 2035 and institutions such as this one will place Queensland in a prime position to service that market,” he said.

“This is why the Palaszczuk Government actively supported and advocated for regional Queensland to host the pilot academy and why we have provided support from the $150 million Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Fund.”

Construction of the Qantas Group Pilot Training Academy is due for completion in January 2020.

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Media Contact: Lesley Major 0419 288 284

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