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Behind the Scenes: Aviation Australia

Behind the Scenes: Aviation Australia

The Australian aviation industry is growing at an unprecedented rate, with more pilots and engineers than ever required at all levels of the industry.

It’s a good thing, then, that the appropriately-named Aviation Australia are dedicated to producing the best pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers in the country, with world-class courses and facilities that are guaranteed to provide phenomenal results.

This month, we take a look at this remarkable company, and have a peek at the future of flying in Australia and abroad. This is the story of Aviation Australia.



Back in 2001, economic growth and commercial revolution throughout the Asia-Pacific region meant that hundreds of new pilots were required every year, and Australia was in the perfect position to exploit this remarkable opportunity. However, capitalizing on this situation was actually a risky move – Ansett had recently collapsed and the industry was perceived as volatile. Either way, the Queensland Government had an initiative to establish an aviation hub around Brisbane airport, and part of this plan was to create a specialised aviation training school that supported the commercial organisations they were trying to attract.

The Aviation Australia centre was built on a simple yet incredibly important premise; to provide the best training and learning environment to the next generation of pilots, engineers and cabin crew. That’s certainly proven to be the case, with an impressive number of former students carving out enviable careers in the business.

For those already involved in the industry, Aviation Australia provides the opportunity to upskill, with a variety of short courses specifically designed to offer as much hands-on experience as possible. Their courses cover every facet of flying, maintaining and working with aircraft, and have become the go-to solution for individuals and companies looking to improve the way they serve the public.

Their vision has proven to be a popular one, because Aviation Australia has partnered with more than 150 airlines and aerospace companies, governments, defence forces and regulatory authorities, with over 30,000 students now having been trained. This proud Aussie company is propelling the entire industry forward, one hard-working individual at a time.

All Aviation Australia programs are designed with a balanced focus between knowledge, hands-on skills, values and experience, ensuring that graduates enter employment with razor-sharp abilities and a thorough understanding of aviation quality, safety and environmental standards. The teachers and instructors are at the top of their profession, with lifetimes of experience to share with eager students. Just by talking to those involved with this proud Aussie institution, it’s obvious that they’re committed to delivering quality, flexible and cost-effective accredited training to individuals and companies.

“Our instructors come from a very diverse background,” explains Paul Jones, Sales and Business Development Manager. “They have experience with domestic and international airlines, on fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft, and have decades of experience in commercial and military employment. This brings an unrivalled depth of knowledge to our teaching resources that is invaluable to students”.

Aviation Australia’s ambitious mission expands far past this country’s golden shores, with a passion to deliver excellence in training to help shape the future of the aviation industry worldwide.

“Aviation Australia is focused on providing excellence in aviation training,” Jones continues. “Utilising the EASA 147 MTO approval, we want to create an environment where students receive high-quality training outcomes that are recognised both nationally and internationally. We are not just an RTO, we are a world-leading MTO.”

Students of Aviation Australia are nurtured and encouraged to become more than simple employees in the aviation industry – they are, instead, provided with the skills and confidence to become leaders.

Because of this expansive view, there’s a heavy focus on the international aviation market, whilst maintaining a commitment to high levels of teamwork, professionalism, quality and innovation, maximising financial resources and maintaining effective governance for long-term success as a not-for-profit organisation.

To sum it all up, Aviation Australia’s culture creates a positive environment where people are inspired to be their best. A true asset to this country and a major influence on our industry, Aviation Australia are here for long run, and things are only going to get bigger and better for this clever bunch of Queenslanders.

Aviation Australia’s high-tech flight safety training facilities in Brisbane are used by major international and domestic airlines from across the Asia-Pacific region to train their staff on operational procedures. There’s a variety of fully-equipped cabin simulators, escape slides and aircraft doors, as well as a huge pool for practicing water-based emergencies, and a tricked-out wide body cabin for fire, smoke and decompression training.

The custom-built Flight Safety Training Centre is the region’s first independent cabin crew training facility and is set up to deliver the best training in the industry. Cabin crew students are able to experience, first hand, any scenario that their life in the air might offer, enabling them to be fully prepared for anything their career might throw at them.

It’s an incredibly impressive set-up that is sure to become the blueprint for aviation training centres around the world. For more detailed information on the facilities, please check out the breakout box.

With such a great set-up, it’s good to know that the good folk at Aviation Australia are working tirelessly with governments and industry leaders to ensure that their programs are accessible to as many people as possible. The aircraft maintenance engineering courses are government-subsidised in Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory, making the pathway to becoming an engineer readily accessible for residents of those states, and Aviation Australia hope to extend its programs across the country so that subsidised, quality training can be delivered to even more people.

“Although over the years, aircraft have become far more reliable, they have also become more complex, requiring enhanced skills and discipline to ensure the safety, reliability and sustainability of air transportation,” says Bill Horrocks, Chief Executive Officer of Aviation Australia.

“The dedicated and experienced team of instructors, assessors and support staff at Aviation Australia are committed to meeting the requirements of all regulatory approvals and ensuring the next generation of aircraft maintenance engineers are equipped with the competence and responsibility required to succeed in this field.”

The success of Aviation Australia’s programs are obvious, with the industry now flooded with former students using their skills to propel their careers forward. Taekyeong Kim, from South Korea, was one of the first international students to complete a Diploma of Aircraft Maintenance Engineering with Aviation Australia, and is now working as a B1 Aircraft Maintenance Engineer for Asiana Airlines.

“Aviation Australia has great facilities,” Kim proudly reveals. “The practical sessions were very useful, with various types of aircraft that were well-prepared for the training purposes. I liked being in the Technical Training Centre and watching aircraft landing during breaks”.

It doesn’t matter if they’re from Australia or overseas – budding pilots, engineers and crew members know that there’s only one place that offers the best facilities and training, and that’s Aviation Australia.

Aviation Australia offers a huge number of standard courses leading to a variety of career paths, but they’re also the leading institution in regards to highly specialised courses. One such example is the newly-implemented Augusta Westland AW139 Part 147 training, delivered in partnership with HeliTSA. Launched earlier this year, it’s proven to be extremely popular as the demand for maintenance of this helicopter has increased.

“The training has been developed to meet the increasing demand for the courses nationally and internationally, creating a cost-effective and innovative means to train AW139 engineers,” explains Jones.

Helicopter courses are powered by highly innovative training methods, including the use of LifeFlight’s CASA and EASA approved Thales AW139 CAT D simulator. Use of the simulator has already proven to be a highlight for current students, and is a teaching aid not available elsewhere. The benefits of hands-on learning are obvious.

“Conducting practical training in the simulator has allowed us to put what we have learnt in the classroom into action,” says Simon Faulkner, a recent AW139 B1.3 student. “Seeing how it all came together was like flicking a switch. I’m about to start work in the Middle East, so I’ll be able to work on the aircraft and apply my knowledge over there.”

The AW139 courses allow local and international students to receive high quality training within an innovative environment, and when they graduate they’ll have a whole world of opportunities in front of them.

In a sign of Aviation Australia’s growing reputation across the globe, they were recently recognised by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Macao as an approved training organisation. It’s a massive development for the organisation, and will allow them to deliver accredited aircraft maintenance engineering training and examinations in the Asian country.

“We are extremely honoured to be appointed as Macao’s first approved maintenance training organisation,” claims Horrocks. “To hold the certificate number AACM T-01, which is the first certificate issued, is a testament to the quality of training developed and delivered by Aviation Australia, as well as the professionalism of the team who have worked on this project.”

Aviation Australia hope to expand their footprint throughout the region, by offering a greater range of courses aimed specifically at Asian markets. This rapid growth has certainly not come at the expense of local operations, and their commitment to young Aussies is stronger than ever.

Closer to home, Aviation Australia also delivers aviation-related training to high school students as part of the Queensland Government Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) program. The program enables students to undertake structured workplace learning and acquire a nationally-recognised qualification, the Certificate II in Aircraft Line Maintenance, prior to graduating high school.

The first round of 19 students graduated last month, with eight of them already enrolled to complete further engineering studies with Aviation Australia. The future of the aviation industry is in good hands, and it’s all thanks to Aviation Australia.
Aviation Australia is licensed to provide training across a wide variety of areas, leading to many different career paths. The company holds an industry-leading number of approvals, including:

*  European Aviation Safety Authority Part 147 Maintenance Training Organisation (the only training organisation in Australia to have this approval)

* General Civil Aviation Authority Part 147 Maintenance Training Organisation

* Civil Aviation Authority of Macao Part 147 Maintenance Training Organisation

* Civil Aviation Safety Authority Part 147 Maintenance Training Organisation

* Civil Aviation Safety Authority Part 142 Flight Training Organisation

* Civil Aviation Safety Authority CAR-30 Maintenance Repair Organisation


Aviation Australia is home to an extensive range of reliable and efficient training aides and equipment that are truly cutting edge. Continuous maintenance, improvements and modifications ensure training is safer and more productive – and that students are provided with the best learning environment possible.

B737 Cabin Trainer
The B737 Cabin Trainer is the pride of Aviation Australia, and for good reason. It incorporates advanced audio/visual effects, a working communication system, and closed circuit cameras to monitor training operations. The simulator comes with an impressive array of equipment, including DME torches under crew stations, fire extinguishers, oxygen bottles, and a megaphone for use in simulated PA failure.

Wide-Body Cabin Trainer
Wider is always better, and that’s certainly the case with this nifty piece of equipment. The Wide-Body Cabin Trainer can be utilised for SEP simulations as well as service functions with fully functioning galleys and service equipment. The central, glassed supervisors station means that a comprehensive observation and evaluation process can be undertaken. It’s fully tricked-out, and stacked with oxygen masks, DME torches, fire extinguishers and other goodies.

Fire Trainer
Since the dawn of time, man has marvelled at the wonder of fire, and since the dawn of aviation he has battled against it. The custom-built Fire Trainer incorporates audio-visual effects and has nifty closed circuit cameras to monitor what’s going on inside. The simulator is able to replicate a number of blazes, including an overhead locker fire, toilet fire, electrical panel fire, and a galley fire. Of course, all firefighting and safety equipment is provided.

Door Trainers
Door training goes further than simply learning how to open and close one. Doors available for training include the B737/B767/B747/B777, the A320/A330, and the Dash 8.

Slides might sound like a lot of fun, but learning how to utilise them for evacuations is an integral part of airline safety. Slides available for evacuation training include the A320/A330 and B737/ B767. All matting and protective equipment (including protective clothing) for trainees is available.

Rafts aren’t just for riding down scenic river rapids, they’re also the best way to safely extract passengers and crew from a disaster. Slides and safety rafts available for evacuation training include the 42 person raft, and the A320/A330 slide raft.

Ditching pool
Keep Thorpey out of this one, because it’s an important part of safety training, and is a true asset to the Aviation Australia set-up. The ditching pool is 20 metres long and 12 metres wide, with a depth of two metres – in other words, big enough to simulate the worst scenarios. Also available are life jackets, passenger restraint devices, and protective overalls.

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