City holds productive pilot training academy talks with Qantas
The City of Greater Bendigo yesterday met with Qantas to discuss Bendigo Airport’s potential as a host site for the airline’s new pilot training academy.
Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke, City staff, and State Government representatives from Regional Development Victoria and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources met with six Qantas representatives, including Pilot Academy Executive Manager Wes Nobelius.
City Chief Executive Officer Craig Niemann said the three-hour meeting was positive and productive.
“It was helpful for the Qantas representatives to experience Bendigo Airport for themselves, to see the runway, apron and other infrastructure such as the new lighting and navigational aids and terminal building,” Mr Niemann said.
“They were also able to get a sense of the scale of the area surrounding the airport; it is essentially a greenfield site, so it was clear that there is plenty of room to accommodate pilot training and other facilities on site.
“As part of the meeting we took them on a tour of the Bendigo CBD, showing them Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo Art Gallery and the new Bendigo Hospital, all of which help demonstrate the liveability of our community.
“The impression we got was that the Qantas representatives were very impressed by what Bendigo has to offer. They commented on the cleanliness and presentation of the city, they understood our gold rush history and heritage values but were also excited by our optimism and vision for the future.
“Naturally, Qantas is visiting the other shortlisted sites but we feel that we showed Bendigo Airport and our city in their best light and put Bendigo and the region in a strong position to welcome a pilot training academy.”