Australian carrier Qantas has opened a new pilot training facility adjacent to Brisbane Airport.

Called the Qantas Group Flight Training Center, it has the capacity to train up to 900 pilots every year, and has four aircraft simulators–Boeing 737, 767F and 787 Dreamliner and Dash-8 Q400 – as well as a Q400 flight training device.

The simulators are used by pilots to complete four annual sessions of simulator training and specialized training when moving to a new aircraft type. 

The opening of the new training facility in Brisbane is an addition to the airline’s expanded training center in Melbourne, and a new flight center that will be built in Sydney. This will provide significant cost savings for Qantas, as the majority of its pilots are based in those three eastern states.

The Brisbane facility will provide recurrent training for more than 500 pilots based in Queensland as well as pilots from other states and new recruits.

The facility will also be open for hire by 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’ 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,” Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce said in a statement.

“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.”

Joyce adds, “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.”

Construction of the facility began in March 2021, and it will be staffed by 33 team members, including 18 new roles for skilled simulator instructors, simulator technicians and support staff.

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