LONGREACH Pastoral College and flight training service provider, Airways Aviation, have announced the introduction of an innovative new livestock and station skills aviation program, commencing next February.
The one-year program is designed to equip students with livestock and station skills and a recreational pilot’s licence.
“We have done the research and determined that a very real need exists for pilots in rural Australia to fly fixed-wing aircraft for mustering, flying water points, fences and general flying between properties,” Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges principal executive officer Brent Kinnane said.
“Pastoral companies aren’t just looking for pilots, they are looking for pilots with a detailed understanding of requirements for flying in a rural setting, and an ability to deal with the many different demands that environment can deliver. For example, knowing how stock might behave is very important for a pilot when mustering.”
It is the first time in Queensland, and possibly Australia, that a program has delivered this combined skills set. In addition to aviation, the units of study include livestock, plants and pests, station skills, machinery, occupational health and safety and environment.
The Livestock, Station Skills and Aviation Program has been developed by QATC in partnership with Airways Aviation. On completion of the 33-week program of study, students will achieve a Certificate III Rural Operations which includes four aviation competencies and a Recreational Pilots Licence. The program gives students a serious taste of aviation to decide if they want to continue and progress all the way to a commercial pilots licence.
The Certificate III Rural Operations units will be delivered at Longreach Pastoral College, with work experience being undertaken with one of the college’s industry partners. The Airways Aviation eight-week block will be conducted in combination at Caloundra and Longreach airports, with 28 flying hours being logged at Caloundra and five flying hours at Longreach.
“Our colleges are serious about supporting students to achieve their dreams and, at the same time, improving the economic prosperity and sustainability of rural communities,” Mr Kinnane said. “This program of study certainly does that.”
Airways Aviation is currently working to achieve CASA registration for Longreach Airport facility as a registered training destination.
“It is our intention to offer the full time aviation courses solely from Longreach from 2017,” said Airways Aviation National Operation Manager, Stewart Ford.
“The facilities at Longreach Airport are first-rate and beyond what most people would expect a rural airport location to offer,” he said. “This makes Longreach the perfect location for all training for pilots for jobs in agricultural aviation.”
Enrolments for the program are now open for 2016. The AHC32810 Certificate III in Rural Operation is eligible for funding under the Queensland Governments Certificate III Guarantee or Year 12 Fee Free programs, plus scholarships of up to $5000 are also available. Minimum student entry requirements are grade 10 and a minimum of 16 years of age. For further information contact QATC on 1800 888 710.