Tamworth lands on Qantas pilot academy shortlist

LIFT OFF: Mayor Col Murray was buoyed by news Tamworth had been shortlisted for Qantas' pilot academy. Photo: Jacob McArthur

LIFT OFF: Mayor Col Murray was buoyed by news Tamworth had been shortlisted for Qantas' pilot academy. Photo: Jacob McArthur

TAMWORTH Regional Council now has to show Qantas the city has exactly what it’s looking for in a home for its regional pilot academy.

On Friday, Qantas announced nine cities around Australia had been shortlisted for the academy, including Tamworth.

Council will soon host some high-flying execs from Qantas and show why Tamworth soars above its shortlist competitors.

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Mayor Col Murray admitted the competition, including Wagga Wagga and Dubbo in NSW, was very strong and it would be a challenge.

“Tamworth does have a lot of attributes as far as pilot training,” Cr Murray said.

“Things like the number of clear flying days.

“Our role is now just to host a visit from Qantas, that’s just the next step in the process.

“The expectation is there will be an announcement in the third quarter of this year, so there’s a time to wait yet.”

Cr Murray thanked Kevin Anderson for his support and work in getting Tamworth to this point.

The Tamworth MP said it would very much “be a joint-effort “ to get the city in the winning position.

He said Qantas’ criteria to pick a city, from this point, hadn’t been released yet.

“Qantas will go around to the nine cities and meet with local members and councils, suppliers, airport operators and further evaluate the feasibility of each location,” he said.

Mr Anderson said winning the academy would “further cement Tamworth as a centre of aviation excellence”.

Tamworth beat out bids from regional neighbours Armidale, Moree and Glen Innes. Cr Murray said it would be great to see regional support flow towards Tamworth’s tender.

“That certainly would be a good neighbourly gesture from a city like Armidale and I think we do have a lot of support around the New England North West,” he said. Other shortlisted cities include: Alice Springs, Busselton, Bendigo, Launceston, Mackay and Toowoomba

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