• A Qlink B717 at Mackay. (Wikimedia Commons / kgbo)
    A Qlink B717 at Mackay. (Wikimedia Commons / kgbo)

Qantas has stuck with its spiritual home state and selected Mackay as the site of its second training academy.

The airline announced today that Queensland would host both academies after the first was established at Wellcamp Airport in Toowoomba.

Qantas Group Pilot Academy Executive Manager, Wes Nobelius, said the airport would be an ideal place to train the next generation of pilots.

“Mackay offers optimal flying conditions and a sunny Queensland lifestyle which makes it an ideal site for a pilot academy,” he said.

“It’s home to good infrastructure, a proud community – even a new, state-of-the-art sport and recreation precinct for students, trainers and their families. We were really moved by the way locals came together with the #MackayWantsYouQantas campaign.

“Our initial focus is opening the first Pilot Academy site in Toowoomba and rapidly expanding the number of pilots there next year, before we progress our plans for Mackay.”

Nobelius said Mackay was chosen after a process that whittle potential site down from more than 60 to just two.

“To the remaining six shortlisted cities – we thank all of you for taking part. If we could have placed a Pilot Academy in every one of your cities, we would have,” added Mr Nobelius.

“We know these proposals took a great deal of time and effort, but it gave us insight into your community and plenty of ideas for where we can grow in the future.”

The short-listed airports were Alice Springs, Bendigo, Busselton, Dubbo, Launceston, Mackay and Wagga Wagga.

Qantas started life in the 1920s as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services based in Longreach, QLD.

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