Training pilots could hit the west: councillor
PILOTS at a state-of-the-art training academy in Toowoomba could spread their wings to Roma, if one councillor has anything to say about it.
Maranoa Regional Councillor Cam O'Neil said it was an exciting time for the Darling Downs to have a new Qantas pilot training Academy based at Toowoomba's Wellcamp Airport.
"We are, as the crow flies, in fairly close proximity. I want to make sure that we are in the plans put in place for their training programs," he said.
"We have a really well invested asset here in terms of our airport, not just our terminal but the strip has just been upgraded."
Last Wednesday in Maranoa council's general meeting, councillors voted unanismouly in support of Cr O'Neil proposal for a report be made to reach out to Qantas to consider Roma as a base for pilots in training.
The Toowoomba Qantas pilot acadamy will have capacity to train up to 250 pilots each year at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport, and create up to 160 jobs in training and support roles.
While the academy is still under construction, the first batch of student pilots began their training at the University fo Souther Queensland in September.
"I just think we are geographically in the right spot to attract these guys out of Toowoomba, and the report I put to council is to get their support to do that," Cr O'Neil said.
"We would be a port, when the pilots are doing navigation training we would be earmarked as one of the places they should go.
"It's helping our region, it's helping them. They are building the academy at the moment, so it would be the ideal time to put our names forward and ensure we are being considered."