Sussan Ley agrees to investigate Qantas needs for a regional based flying school

FARRER MP Sussan Ley has committed to sounding out Qantas about its requirements for a pilot training school at a regional airport.

Sussan Ley

Sussan Ley

Ms Ley last week met pilot training providers located at Albury airport after they raised concerns about the impact on their businesses and infrastructure short-comings to cater for Qantas plans for a training school catering for up to 500 students when fully operational.

“I emphasised it is very early days since the announcement and I am arranging a meeting with Qantas to establish exactly what their needs will be, and the type of training facility they are wanting to establish,” Ms Ley said.

“We would need to have everyone on board to have a chance of success, from Albury Council to existing operators as well as the NSW Government.

“One of the arguments for Albury is the wealth of experience which already exists at our local flying schools, and it would make perfect sense for Qantas to tap into that knowledge resource.”

Riverina Aviation College co-director Ian Bennett said the meeting with Ms Ley was welcomed.

But he and other businesses paying rent to council at the airport remained in the dark about its position other than expressing initial support for the Qantas proposal.

“We’re disappointed council hasn’t bothered to consult anybody with regards to what their thought process is,” Mr Bennett said.

“I appreciate Sussan Ley has gone into bat for us and we would like her to go and speak with Qantas and ask them what they need.

“As we've already discussed Albury has got some major issues preventing it attracting a lot of it.”

Albury Council has provided an update on Qantas’ plans.

“Once we have a better understanding of (Qantas) requirements and if we can meet them, we will undertake community consultation,” the update states.