Construction has started on a new flight training centre in Sydney, Australia, which will train up to 4,500 Qantas Airways and Jetstar pilots and cabin crew each year from early 2024.

The multi-million-dollar facility will be home to up to eight full motion simulators including for the Airbus A350, the aircraft that will operate non-stop flights from Sydney to London and New York. The purpose-built facility in St Peters near Sydney Airport will also have flight training devices, aircraft cabin mock-ups with emergency procedures equipment, and classroom and training facilities.

Senior Qantas and Jetstar training captains will train pilots from the two airlines while CAE will maintain all simulators and training equipment, and manage the centre’s day-to-day operations as part of a long-term agreement.

Qantas and Jetstar pilots typically do four simulator sessions per year to remain current in their formal qualifications and up to 15 sessions when training for a new aircraft type.

Qantas relocated its simulators from Sydney to Melbourne and Brisbane in 2021 to make way for the NSW Government’s Sydney Gateway road project. Sydney-based pilots currently travelling interstate will be able to do training in their home state when the new facility opens in early 2024.

Developed by leading Asia Pacific property specialist LOGOS Property Group, the project is being custom-built and will be the first training facility of its kind in Sydney. The facility will span approximately 7000m2 over three floors, built with around 150 tonnes of steel, 4500m3 of concrete and complex specialist infrastructure for flight simulators, and will create around 250 jobs in its delivery.

The Qantas Group expects to create more than 8,500 highly skill jobs in Australian aviation over the next decade as it takes delivery of hundreds of new aircraft and grows its network. This includes 1,600 new positions for pilots and 4,500 new roles for cabin crew, with many to be trained at the new facility.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said: “We’ll receive an average of one new aircraft every three weeks for the next three years across the Qantas Group, and more simulator capacity to train new and current pilots is critical. Sydney will be the launch city for our non-stop flights to London and New York, and will soon be the home of pilot training for the A350s, which will operate these flights from late 2025.”

CAE’s Group President, Civil Aviation, Nick Leontidis, said, “CAE Sydney will be a state-of-the-art training centre with advanced full-flight simulators, including a brand new A320 FFS, that will deliver immersive training, and give pilots the skill and confidence they need for the moments that matter in flight.

With the completion of this centre, Qantas will conduct flight training in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Sydney, in addition to the Qantas Group Pilot Academy in Toowoomba.

Full-motion simulators and fixed flight training devices (FTD) to be located at the new Sydney Flight Training Centre include: A380, A350, A330, A320, B787, B738, A380 FTD, A330 FTD, B787 FTD.

The national carrier recently announced that it will establish the Qantas Group Engineering Academy in Australia, with capacity to train up to 300 engineers a year. A decision on where the Engineering Academy will be located is expected over the coming months.