Qantas to Open New Pilot Training Centre in Sydney

Artist impression of new Qantas training base in Sydney
Image Credit: Qantas

LONDON – Australian flag carrier Qantas will open a new purpose-built flight training centre in Sydney to accommodate the flight crew needs for its proposed future fleet as well as its current line aircraft.

The new multi-million-dollar facility is proposed for St Peters near Sydney Airport, and will provide training for up to 4,500 new and current Qantas and Jetstar pilots and cabin crew each year from early 2024.

The proposed centre will house up to 8 full motion flight training simulators, which will cover training for the new Airbus A350 and A320 family aircraft ordered by Qantas as part of their Project Sunrise initiative.

The facility will also cover simulator and ground training for Qantas and Jetstar domestic aircrew renewals, and will be equipped with fixed flight training devices, emergency procedures equipment with aircraft cabin mock-ups, and classroom and training facilities.

Qantas CEO statement

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce referred to the upcoming introduction of new generation aircraft and the attendant need to maintain the high training standards which the carrier is known for.

“Qantas has trained its pilots and crew in Sydney for more than half a century and we look forward to bringing this critical function back to New South Wales with this custom-built facility,” Mr Joyce said.

“Sydney will be the launch city for our non-stop flights to London and New York, and will now be the home of pilot training for the A350s, which will operate these flights from 2025.”

“As our international network recovers from the impact of COVID and we grow our fleet, this new training centre will give us the simulator capacity to train our new and current pilots.

“Having flight training centres in all three eastern states, where the majority of our crew reside, will provide significant cost savings and efficiencies by training them at their home base.”

“We’d like to thank the NSW Government for its support for this world-class facility, which will generate broader economic benefits for the state.”

NSW government statement

The New South Wales Minister for Planning and Minister for Homes Anthony Roberts said, “The NSW Government is a proud supporter of Australia’s aviation industry, and efforts like this will help strengthen capability and ensures NSW and Sydney remain the country’s global travel hub.”

“Our $60 million Aviation Attraction Fund is securing routes, creating jobs and promoting visitor expenditure to accelerate our COVID-19 Road to Recovery, and cement NSW as the premier visitor economy of the Asia Pacific.”

“The NSW Government has declared the proposal as State Significant, in recognition of its potential widespread economic benefits and importance to the aviation industry.”

CAE training provider

As part of the proposed arrangement, global training provider CAE will maintain the simulators and manage the day-to-day operations in a long-term partnership agreement. CAE may also provide training for other airlines in the region at the new facility.

Senior Qantas and Jetstar training captains will train pilots from the two airlines. Pilots will typically undergo four sessions per year to remain current in their formal qualifications, and up to 15 sessions when training for a new aircraft type.

CAE’s President and CEO Marc Parent said, “As the global leader in civil aviation training, we are thrilled to be expanding CAE’s global network to Sydney, Australia to support the Qantas Group, a company that shares our unwavering commitment to safety.

“As the operator of 50+ civil aviation training centres around the world, CAE is uniquely positioned to provide operational efficiencies to the Qantas Group and deliver an exceptional training experience for their pilots.”


The airline’s current national flight training footprint includes centres in three states including the newly opened Qantas Brisbane Flight Training Centre, as well as the Qantas Group Pilot Academy in Toowoomba which supports the airline’s long-term pipeline of talent and its Nancy Bird Walton initiative to reach 40 per cent intake of female cadet pilots by 2028.

The development of the new Sydney operation is subject to planning approvals, with a submission lodged by LOGOS who will develop the centre in partnership with CAE and Qantas. The New South Wales Government has declared this proposal as state significant and will expedite its assessment.

About the author

Len Varley

A former Chief Pilot/Chief Flying Instructor, Len has 35 years experience in diverse aviation roles. Speaks fluent Australian & English! Len is the Assistant Editor for AviationSource.

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