Mildura Airport continues its efforts to attract a pilot academy with the announcement of a proposed Category 1 Instrument Landing System (ILS), subject to local political alignment. Member for Mildura Peter Crisp has teamed up with the Nationals Leader Peter Walsh to pledge $4 million for the ILS should the Coalition be returned in the state election. When pressed, a Labor spokesman wouldn’t concede that the government might match the funding commitment. However, Mr Crisp did firm up the possibility of attracting 375 jobs to the area and improving aviation training facilities. “There are negotiations under way to secure an academy for our community and with the right foundation we’ll be in prime position to seize this new opportunity for Mildura,” Mr Crisp said.
The proposed pilot academy is currently in talks with a Chinese airline in the hopes of attracting around 120 international students at its projected inception at the end of 2019. This new proposition comes after Mildura didn’t make the shortlist for the new Qantas Pilot Academy with locals surprised that state neighbour Bendigo had leapfrogged in front of it. At the time, Member for Mallee Andrew Broad castigated Qantas for “playing state governments against one another” to see who would offer the most funding.
The installation of an Instrument Landing System would undoubtedly make Mildura a far more attractive proposition in the future.