ALBURY Council hasn’t ruled out ending a ban on night flying to secure the Qantas flying school.
The airline has released details of the next stage in the selection of a regional centre to become home to the academy which will open its doors next year training an initial intake of 100 pilots.
One of the key infrastructure selection criteria is for “full lighting for night and reduced-visibility operations” which will require Albury to abolish a recently introduced 9pm curfew at its airport.
Qantas also needs hangars and covered facilities to accommodate maintenance and parking for up to 30 aircraft with the ability to grow to more than 50 aircraft and weather conditions to allow for a minimum of 300 days per year suitable for flying, based on historical averages.
Also, access to a mix of controlled and uncontrolled airspace and an airport with a control tower is preferred.
Albury Council was tight-lipped on whether a change to the curfew would be considered as part of a bid to win the flying school.
“Qantas released a request for information last Friday,” mayor Kevin Mack said.
“We are currently reviewing and will liaise with the NSW government in relation to any response.”
Industry insiders believe Tamworth is the favourite to be chosen as the flying school home.
Qantas Group pilot academy executive manager Wes Nobelius said interest in securing the pilot school was high.
“We’re really pleased with the response we’ve had from local communities,” he said.
“The process will be very competitive and although there can only be one academy, we’re encouraging every region to put their best case forward.”
Teaching facilities and student accommodation will also be needed.