Armidale Regional Council is ‘hopeful’ its bid for Qantas’ $20 million proposed pilot academy will succeed.
It comes after Qantas announced it would be looking to locate the training base in a regional area in February.
Mayor Simon Murray confirmed council had sent an official submission citing why Armidale should be selected.
“We offer a lot of benefits. We have the University of New England so they can also do academic training,” he said.
“Pilots aren’t going to be studying all day so there’s plenty of sporting and social activities here which is good for them.”
The Qantas Group Pilot Academy is expected to open its doors in 2019, with an initial investment expected to be close to $20 million.
The students will be high school and university graduates and the training will include 18 months of classroom, simulator and real-world flight training.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall welcomed the opportunity for regional cities in the state.
“This Australia-wide opportunity attracted a lot of attention and competition will be fierce,” Mr Marshall said.
“The process of pinning down that one or two towns or cities is well underway and Qantas will be spoilt for choice.
“I have spoken to Moree Plains Shire, Glen Innes Severn and Armidale Regional Councils in the Northern Tablelands, which have all put forward impressive credentials in an effort to attract the 500-pilot facility to our region.
“I commend those councils for taking this tremendous opportunity in hand.”
The shortlist will be announced in the coming months.