Construction has now started on a new flight training centre in Sydney, which will train up to 4,500 Qantas and Jetstar pilots and cabin crew each year from early 2024.
The multi-million-dollar facility will be home to up to eight full motion simulators including support for the Airbus A350, the aircraft that will operate non-stop flights from Sydney to London and New York.
The purpose-built facility in St Peters near Sydney Airport will also have flight training devices, aircraft cabin mock-ups with emergency procedures equipment, and classroom and training facilities.
Route network and fleet growth
The move by the national flag carrier is in keeping with worldwide trends which is seen the projected growing pilot shortage across the coming years.
Last week, Qantas announced a major bolstering of its international route network which will see the addition of 1 million seat passenger capacity over 12 months from October this year.
Qantas relocated its simulators from Sydney to Melbourne and Brisbane in 2021 to make way for the NSW Government’s Sydney Gateway road project. Sydney-based pilots currently travelling interstate will be able to do training in their home state when the new facility opens in early 2024.
Senior Qantas and Jetstar training captains will train pilots from the two airlines while global training provider CAE will maintain all simulators and training equipment, and manage the centre’s day-to-day operations as part of a long-term agreement.
Creation of 8500 jobs
The Qantas Group expects to create more than 8,500 highly skill jobs in Australian aviation over the next decade as it takes delivery of hundreds of new aircraft and grows its network.
This includes 1,600 new positions for pilots and 4,500 new roles for cabin crew, with many to be trained at the new facility.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, who was onsite last week to mark the official start of construction, said the national carrier was looking forward to bringing the critical flight training function back to Sydney, having trained pilots and crew in NSW for half a century.
“Qantas provides training for thousands of pilots and cabin crew each year and this purpose-built facility will ensure our high training standards continue as we introduce the next generation of aircraft, grow our network and create new high skilled jobs,” Mr Joyce said.
“We’ll receive an average of one new aircraft every three weeks for the next three years across the Qantas Group, and more simulator capacity to train new and current pilots is critical.
“Sydney will be the launch city for our non-stop flights to London and New York, and will soon be the home of pilot training for the A350s, which will operate these flights from late 2025,” Joyce said.
With the completion of this centre, Qantas will conduct flight training in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Sydney, in addition to the Qantas Group Pilot Academy in Toowoomba.
The national carrier recently announced that it will establish the Qantas Group Engineering Academy in Australia, with capacity to train up to 300 engineers a year. A decision on where the Engineering Academy will be located is expected over the coming months.