The Nationals Member for Riverina, today welcomed the news that Regional Express’ (Rex) wholly owned subsidiary ‘Australian Airline Pilot Academy’ (AAPA) will be relocated to Wagga Wagga, starting April 2009.
“This is terrific news for Wagga Wagga, the Riverina, and regional aviation in general. The AAPA will bring with it 70 high quality jobs and a high profile role for the region as a centre for pilot training,” Mrs. Hull said.
“I congratulate the Chairman Kim Hai Lim and his board for their continued investment in the future of regional Australia. The commitment of REX in providing frequency of services and access for professional support teams particularly in the area of health needs to be recognised.
“Rex has had to overcome major challenges due to skills shortages, but they have chosen to invest their hard earned profits into securing the future of regional aviation.
“I am aware that Mr Davis, Rex’s Managing Director, has paid tribute to the Wagga Wagga City Council staff, led by Mayor Kerry Pascoe and General Manager Lyn Russell, who have been instrumental in making this happen.
“I also send my congratulations to the Wagga Wagga City Council for their efforts in ensuring that the Rex board decided in favour of Wagga Wagga.
Rex has purchased a modern hangar at Wagga Wagga airport as well as 2.4 hectares of land that borders the Wagga Wagga airport for a total of $1.55M.
Plans are being drawn up to develop a state-of-the-art Training Centre on the land as well as accommodation, administration and recreational facilities to house the trainee pilots. It is expected the first stage of the development to be ready by the end of 2009.
“I am aware that there are plans for AAPA to be the premier pilot academy in Asia Pacific with a projected throughput of more than 200 pilots a year for both Australian and international airlines.
“For the city of Wagga Wagga and the entire Riverina area, this announcement is really exciting and I welcome wholeheartedly this new chapter in our relationship with REX and the benefits it brings to our region,” Mrs. Hull said.