Australia Asia Flight Training

Australia has major advantages in aviation training, with a strong safety record and higher level English-language requirements than the international standard.

Leading wings academy chooses NSW

Artist's impression of the AAFT academy

The clear skies over northern New South Wales make it ideal to train pilots.

There is almost no competing air traffic in the area, so student pilots spend less time waiting for their turn to take off and land. This allows a flight academy to gain maximum efficiency from its training fleet.

With little fog, few clouds and low wind, the good weather over northern NSW is ideal for pilot training.

New training academy

Artist's impression of the AAFT academy

Australia Asia Flight Training (AAFT) is building a 600-student residential training academy at Glen Innes on the Northern Tablelands of NSW to train commercial pilots and aircraft maintenance technicians for the Asia Pacific region.

The $52 million academy will be the biggest flight training school in Australia and includes:

  • Student accommodation
  • Dining and sports facilities
  • Flight simulators
  • Classrooms
  • Flight briefing rooms
  • Aircraft maintenance facilities

AAFT affiliate Australian Wings Academy currently runs a leading flight training academy in Coolangatta, Queensland. Glen Innes was selected for the major expansion after a seven-year search for a location that could meet the standards required by the company.

Meeting the need for skilled aviation workers

Artist's impression of the AAFT academy

An extra 192,300 pilots and 215,300 maintenance technicians will be needed in the Asia Pacific region in the next 20 years, according to aircraft manufacturer, Boeing. Australia's proximity to the Asia Pacific is a major advantage to help meet this need.

Neil Hansford, a director of AAFT, said Australia has a worldwide reputation for producing high-calibre pilots, primarily because of the strict operating standards of Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Supporting AAFT from the beginning

The department supported AAFT throughout the entire process.

Getting approvals

Liaising with Glen Innes Severn Council to gain approval for this major development. The Council successfully applied for, and was granted the Australian Government's Regional Development Australia Fund.

Financial support

The NSW Government provided financial support through the states's Regional Industries Investment Fund (RIIF). The fund supports business investment in regional jobs. The grant will help Glen Innes Severn Council upgrade water, sewerage, power, road access, car parking, aircraft aprons and taxiways at Glen Innes Aerodrome.

Download the AAFT case study

Publication date: July 2013