Cessnock would be the natural choice as a location for Qantas’ proposed pilot academy, federal Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon says.
Qantas has called for bids from across Australia for sites to establish a training facility capable of educating up to 500 pilots a year to help meet growing demand – which it wants to have up and running next year.
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Mr Fitzgibbon told Parliament on Thursday that he had contacted the airline’s CEO Alan Joyce to talk about Cessnock City Council’s bid.
“It is clear we are in the running but what I learned is that NSW Government support for our bid will be crucial,” he said.
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Cessnock’s proximity to Sydney, existing infrastructure and the town’s aerodrome were all key strengths of the council’s bid, Mr Fitzgibbon said.
But he wants the NSW Government to offer support and invest in more infrastructure to help Cessnock secure the project.
“We'd be talking about literally hundreds of trainees each year going through the school... that would be a significant economic boost for any township or local community,” he said.
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