TAMWORTH airport has claimed national recognition from Qantaslink as the airline gears up to announce the winning locations for its pilot training academy.
Qantaslink recently named Tamworth as home to the most outstanding regional airport for 2018 and it’s hoped it could be an auspicious sign of announcements to come.
Tamworth airport Qantaslink port manager Matt Endemi said the win came after a concerted effort to improve things at the terminal.
As passenger numbers have soared in recent years, a slew of delays and cancellations have wreaked havoc for travellers.
But Mr Endemi vowed to turn it around.
“We've just been focused on customer service and on time performance driven by myself and the staff trying to make a conscious effort to restore a bit of faith in the brand over the last 12 months,” he said.
We've just been ... trying to make a conscious effort to restore a bit of faith in the brand over the last 12 months.- Matt Endemi
“You’re never going stop cancellations and delays, it’s just part of it, but it’s about how we recover from that.”
The win comes as the city is still wooing Qantas to become home to its regional pilot training academy.
“It's good timing to win … it’s a good advertisement for the airport,” Mr Endemi said.
The country music capital was one of nine cities shortlisted to win the facility which needs to be able to accommodate 100 training pilots in its first year.
An announcement is expected to be made in coming weeks.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson told The Leader negotiations were still unfolding with Qantas.
“We again spoke to them during the week, they're working with us, council and government to look at what we can do get Tamworth signed as one of their training bases,” Mr Anderson said.
“It's not a done deal, absolutely not, I certainly won’t believe until they sign on the dotted line.”
He said negotiations were largely focused on accommodation and housing for trainees and staff.
“Tamworth airport has been judged as coming out on top by QantasLink and this is good timing as we continue to promote our case to Qantas to base its pilot training academy here,” he said.
“Tamworth Regional Airport has such great facilities and this award which identifies the massive effort of the QantasLink team at Tamworth helps a great deal.