Qantas has opened a new pilot training facility at Brisbane Airport, with the capacity to train up to 900 pilots a year.
Located adjacent to Brisbane Airport, the Qantas Group Flight Training Centre is home to four state-of-the-art aircraft simulators – Boeing 737, 767F and 787 Dreamliner and Dash-8 Q400 – as well as a Q400 flight training device, all used by pilots to complete their four annual sessions of simulator training and specialised training when moving to a new aircraft type.
The simulators were relocated from Sydney to make way for a major road project and were dismantled, transported by road and re-installed at the new Brisbane centre over a four month period.
With the majority of Qantas’ pilots based in the three eastern states, the Brisbane centre, along with expanded facilities in Melbourne and a new flight training centre to be developed in Sydney, will provide significant cost savings through training pilots at their home base.
The Brisbane facility will provide reoccurring training for the airline’s 500-plus Queensland-based pilots as well as pilots from other states and many of the new pilots who will join the Qantas Group in the years to come.
The facility also has a commercial dimension to it and will be open to other airlines in the Asia Pacific region to train newly recruited pilots, upskill pilots to new aircraft types and allow experienced pilots to maintain their ongoing training.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, who was in Brisbane with Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Investment Cameron Dick to formally open the centre, said it would improve the efficiency of the airline’s flight training function and added to Qantas’ sizeable footprint in Queensland.
“Training is a critical part of our business and the new Brisbane Simulator Facility will play a key role in helping us to maintain the highest standards of pilot skill and experience.
“Qantas’ very first flying school was set up in 1927 in a tin shed at Eagle Farm, so we’ve clearly come a long way since then.
“Having simulators based in Brisbane is great news for our Queensland-based pilots and is a clear vote of confidence in the long term future of aviation in this country despite the challenges we’ve faced recently.
“We have a Pilot Training Academy in Toowoomba that is providing a pilot pipeline to Qantas Group and other airlines, and some of the graduates have already secured pilot positions with QantasLink. They will complete the simulator phase of their training program at the new Queensland facility.
“We’d like to thank the Queensland Government for its support in making this new facility possible, which means more jobs based in Queensland and an ongoing economic boost for the state.”
The training facility will be staffed by 33 team members including 18 new roles for highly skilled simulator instructors, simulator technicians and support staff.
Queensland Treasurer and Minster for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said: “The Q in Qantas proudly stands for Queensland, as it has for more than 100 years since the company was founded in Winton in 1920.
“The industry has been impacted severely over the last couple of years by COVID-19, but as we unite and recover, it’s technology and facilities like this which will play a critical role in our economic recovery.
“This suite of flight training simulators reinforces Queensland’s pre-eminence as a destination of choice for the aerospace and aviation support industries.”
Construction commenced in March 2021 and the four simulators and flight training device are now active 24 hour a day, with up to 50 pilots and trainers using the centre each day.