PILOT training is coming back to the North West, with a new flight school to be based out of Narrabri Airport.
Scone-based airline Airspeed Aviation announced on Tuesday it had received CASA approval for pilot training at Narrabri Airport, offering everything from private pilot licences to full-scale commercial licences.
The new school is a partnership between the regional airline, Namoi Aviation and the Namoi Aero Club.
Airspeed Aviation owner Ben Wyndham said the flight training operations would be based in the Namoi Aero Club buildings at the Narrabri Airport, and would start on a part-time basis early in the new year.
“This is something we have wanted to do for a long time – bring flight training back to the North West,” Mr Wyndham said.
“Narrabri is such an important part of our charter business that it makes sense for us to form stronger partnerships and establish ourselves as part of the community on a more permanent basis.
“We are busy recruiting and training new crew, but we will commence operations using our most experienced charter pilots from our Scone and Tamworth bases so flyers can get the best possible training from the start.”
Namoi Aero Club owner and Namoi Aviation chief flying instructor Ken Flower said the North West had more pilots per head than most other places in the state.
“There are a lot of pilots in this area because of all the agriculture properties, which are traditionally quite large,” Mr Flower said.
“We’ll offer training to any level you want, from a simple recreational licence right up to commercial pilot training, so it’s wherever you want to finish.”
In other aviation news, earlier this week Tamworth Regional Council announced it bought the BAE flying school facilities for an undisclosed amount.
Council will be the landlord of the flight training facilities as Virgin Australia is expected to sign a 10-year lease to run its pilot training academy out of the newly-purchased digs.
Mayor Col Murray said the deal was “commercial in confidence”, but hinted the state government kicked in big contribution to help seal the deal.