Sydney Flight College has marked the opening of its new pilot academy in Tamworth.
Opening in July 2024, the academy will offer a new 12-month Diploma of Aviation package, as a pathway to creating the next generation of airline pilots. SFC will initially house 32 students and 10 instructors along with a fleet of training aircraft in existing international flight training facilities at the airport.
After Virgin Australia's abandonment of a pilot academy in March 2020, citing COVID as a reason for the two-year plan's failure, Tamworth airport has adequate facilities for the new training centre.
SFC chief executive Joseph Pilo said Tamworth was the ideal location for the new academy, “For many months now we have been looking for the right location to expand our school and I’m delighted Tamworth ticks all the boxes.
“From July next year, we will run two pilot training centres – here in Tamworth and our current facility at Bankstown Airport in Sydney, furthering our vision to bring the world closer by shaping tomorrow’s pilots.
“With its dedicated training runway and facilities, Tamworth is an ideal base for training, offering year-round operations without the hazards that can exist in the crowded skies over Sydney and represents an opportunity for students to turn dreams into reality, receive top-tier aviation training and embark on fulfilling careers as pilots.”
SFC was formed more than 50 years ago and has trained thousands of pilots, many of whom have moved to Australian and international airlines. Others have flown in a variety of roles from the Royal Flying Doctor Service, freight movements and private jets.
Currently, SFC allows students to train in a variety of aircraft, including a new Archer TX, Cessna 182T and DA42. The centre has Part 142 approval, meaning it can conduct both integrated and non-integrated flight training.
Tamworth Airport is also home to Airspeed Aviation.