Qantas Group, the parent company of Qantas Freight, announced today its plans to open a second pilot academy at Mackay Airport (MKY) in Queensland, Australia.
Qantas Group selected MKY from a shortlist of nine regional cities for its second academy site. The Australia-based carrier chose the site for its high proportion of clear weather days per year, uncongested airspace and access to infrastructure.
Qantas Group is currently working with the Mackay Regional Council, Mackay Airport (MKY) and the Queensland Government as it further develops its proposal for the pilot academy site at MKY.
The decision expands the company’s larger academy project to build a long-term talent pipeline for its own airlines, as well as the broader aviation industry. Qantas estimates that the field will need 790,000 more pilots globally, with about a third needed in the Asia Pacific.
The Group also plans to open its first academy location at Toowoomba (TWB), also in Queensland, this coming September. Applications for the Qantas Group’s first pilot academy in Toowoomba, Queensland opened in May.
The past few years have brought smaller numbers of recruits pursuing the career, pushed partially by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration exponentially increasing required flying hours for a commercial pilot’s license from 250 to 1,500 in 2017. To promote pilot volume, other carriers are launching similar initiatives.
ABX Air partnered with Air Cargo Carriers last month, for instance, to boost attendance in ABX Air training classes. FedEx launched a “Purple Runway” training program last year to recruit pilots from universities and aviation colleges, and UPS followed suit with its own pilot training program called FlightPath.