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Rex moving pilot academy to Wagga Wagga

18th February 2009 - 09:27 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Regional Express (Rex), in partnership with the City of Wagga Wagga, has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary ‘Australian Airline Pilot Academy’ (AAPA) will be relocated to Wagga Wagga from its current location in Mangalore, Victoria, starting on 1 April.

In preparation for the move, 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 $1.55 million. Jim Davis, Rex’s managing director, said that plans were 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 and he expected the first stage of the development to be ready by the end of 2009.

“AAPA’s ambition is 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,” said Davis, who is also the chairman of AAPA. “This will be an exciting time for Wagga Wagga as not only will there be the creation of over 70 high quality jobs, the Academy will also put Wagga Wagga squarely on the world map for pilot training.”

Rex employs more than 100 staff in Wagga Wagga, which is also the home of the airline's major engineering base where its fleet of more than 40 Saab 340 aircraft are maintained.

AAPA was established by Rex in November 2007 to combat the severe pilot shortage that swept through the airline industry during 2007/08. It incorporates the Rex Pilot Cadetship scheme, that to date has seen 45 Rex pilot cadets trained at the academy with 16 cadets having graduated and four of them having passed their SAAB endorsement training and now flying as a First Officer. It is an intensive live-in training programme that enables pilot students to graduate with a Commercial Pilots Licence, a Multi Engine Rating and Command Instrument rating within 32 weeks.

AAPA operates with brand new Piper Warrior III aircraft with state of the art glass cockpits for the first training course, as well as twin engine Piper Seminole for multi-engine and instrument training. Rex has invested approximately $6 million to date into the Pilot Academy and the Rex Pilot Cadetship scheme.

The Shephard News Team


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