Bendigo is not out of the running for the second training site, the City of Greater Bendigo says as Qantas touts the benefits to Toowoomba’s economy.
More than 100 direct jobs and around 300 indirect ones will be generated in Toowoomba as Qantas Group builds infrastructure in the town.
The academy site will create ongoing employment for up to 160 people in training and support roles, plus significant flow on opportunities for Toowoomba’s local businesses.
Qantas had a shortlist for a second site and the Bendigo council’s acting CEO Bernie O’Sullivan said an announcement was expected soon.
“We remain optimistic about our bid and hope there will be a positive announcement for the region later in the year,” he said.
“We believe we put a strong case forward for Bendigo to be considered, highlighting our great lifestyle, weather and uncongested airspace. We’ll continue to work with Qantas to provide any information it needs to help make a decision.”
The academy is expected to eventually grow to train as many as 500 pilots a year across two sites, including for other airlines and general aviation, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said.
“Narrowing down the possible locations has not been easy. We have been really impressed with the enthusiasm and quality of proposals from the shortlisted cities,” he said.
Bendigo has missed out on being named the first of two locations for the Qantas Group’s pilot training academy.
However, the city is still in the running as the company embarks on its long-term strategy to foster talent among its airlines and the wider industry.
Bendigo is competing with Alice Springs, Busselton, Dubbo, Launceston, Mackay, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga to host the second site.
Toowoomba was this morning named the first.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport, state and local government, and the community had demonstrated that the city would make a great home for the first Qantas Group Pilot academy site.
“Qantas has a well-earned reputation of having some of the world’s best pilots. For many of them, the journey will start right here in Toowoomba,” Mr Joyce said.
Construction of the academy’s new facilities at Wellcamp Airport will commence next month with the first students to commence training in mid-2019. The investment in new infrastructure is estimated at $35 million, with the majority of this funding contributed from private sector partners.
A decision on the second site is expected to be made by the end of the year.
More to come.
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