Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why has Qantas chosen Toowoomba as the home of its first Qantas Group Pilot Academy?
Toowoomba is home to Australia’s newest airport – Wellcamp – and offers over 300 days of Queensland sunshine each year and an environment that is textbook for pilot training. The region itself is a great place to live, work and study.
Together with the Queensland Government and Wagner Corporation (who own the airport), we are constructing purpose-built training facilities and student accommodation together with a world-class pilot school for students from Australia and around the globe.
2. Who is the training provider for the Academy?
Qantas has appointed Flight Training Adelaide Pty Ltd RTO Code 40173 (FTA) as the training provider for the Academy site in Toowoomba. FTA provides world-class, customised pilot training solutions for the Australian aviation industry and some of the world’s leading airlines. FTA is focused on producing future airline captains, rather than simply training students to obtain a licence, with ongoing significant investment in next-generation aircraft and simulators.
3. What courses are offered at the Academy?
The Academy is an ab-initio training school for students with little to no flying experience. Students will be able to qualify for the following CASA licences and ratings: Commercial Pilots Licence (CPL), Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (ME IR), Airline Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL) theory, and Multi-Crew Cooperation (MCC).
4. If I successfully graduate from the Academy will I be guaranteed a job at Qantas?
No. However, after graduation, students will automatically join the Qantas Group’s talent pool, have access to our General Aviation partners and be part of the Academy Alumni Program, all of which combined, will help to fast track your place in the recruitment process.
Different airlines have different entry requirements and it’s best to contact prospective employers to seek advice on this matter. It is common for regional airlines to require a minimum of 500 multi-engine command hours for employment. Major airlines usually require 500 multi-engine command hours, 1500 hours total flying time and an ATPL for direct entry.
5. Is the Academy the same thing as the Qantas Group Future Pilot Program?
No. The Qantas Group Future Pilot Program provides Aviation students the opportunity to be mentored by experienced Qantas Group pilots during their university degree and if successful through the selection process, will transition to a job in the Qantas Group after graduation. Students from the Academy may be selected as participants in the Qantas Group Future Pilot Program based on various eligibility criteria including course performance.
6. Why should I choose the Qantas Group Pilot Academy over other pilot schools?
The Qantas Group Pilot Academy will offer you;
- The backing of the Qantas Group (benefits highlighted above)
- The highest level of training delivered by FTA
- Premium conditions for flight training in Toowoomba
- Access to brand new state-of-the-art training, residential and recreational facilities
- Access to payment options and scholarships
- Access to a range of scholarships.
7. Are the courses run at the Academy a Qantas Group cadet program?
No, there are no funded cadetships available with Qantas Group airlines. However, after graduation, students will automatically join the Qantas Group’s talent pool, have access to our General Aviation partners and be part of the Academy Alumni Program, all of which will help to fast track your place in the recruitment process.
8. What are the minimum academic qualifications required to apply?
The program has very strong elements of maths and science and it is desirable that you have a thorough understanding of these subjects at a Year 12 level, as well as:
- Senior secondary (Year 12) Certificate of Education, or
- Certificate IV or higher in the Australian Qualifications Framework, or
- Similar overseas qualification assessed by a Federal/State government agency, or
- Results of exit level 3 or above in the Australian Core Skills Framework in reading and numeracy (organised by FTA).
9. Do I have to be a certain age to apply?
Yes, you must be 18 to progress to the assessment phase, which occurs approximately 4 months prior to the commencement date of your chosen course. Please ensure you meet this requirement before completing the application form.
10. Can I apply if I already hold a pilot’s license?
The course delivered at the academy is designed for someone with little or no previous flying experience. Should you hold a PPL, the training provider, FTA, will assess your previous training and offer you an entry point in the course based on recognised prior learning.
If you currently hold a CPL, this course is not applicable to you at present. The academy might consider offering stand-alone Multi Engine Command Rating, MCC or ATPL courses in the future, however this is currently not an option.
11. What is involved in the selection process?
Once all applications have been evaluated during the pre-screening stage, selected applicates will be asked to:
a) Complete approximately 10 hours of mandatory computer-based training and assessment on abbreviated aviation theory.
b) A pilot aptitude test - This is a computer-based test that will target a number of aviation specific competencies such as hand-eye coordination, memory retention, multi-tasking abilities and decision-making.
c) Core skills test (if applicable, refer to question 8).
d) An interview conducted by FTA’s COO, QGPA or Director of Operations and Training. The interview will cover your test results, your understanding of the course requirements and your motivation for becoming a pilot.
Tip to prepare: Should you be selected to progress your application we encourage you to research flight simulator games or software.
12. Are there expenses involved in the testing process?
Yes. There is a $200 fee payable on the day. If you are travelling to Toowoomba, Adelaide or other sites advertised for testing, then transport, accommodation and any associated costs will be at your own expense.
13. Do I need to meet any specific medical requirements?
Yes. You will not require a CASA medical certificate during the selection process. However, you will require a CASA Class 1 medical certificate before the course start date.
14. How long will it take to receive a reply from the Academy’s team after I submit my application?
Applications will be reviewed after the published closing date. When the review for a specific course is complete, both successful and unsuccessful applicants will be contacted. If unsuccessful, you are welcome to apply for future courses as they become available.
15. I am not an Australian Citizen or Australian permanent resident. Can I apply to the academy?
At this stage the academy is only accepting applications from Australian Citizens or holders of a Permanent Residence. If you don’t meet this requirement your application will not be considered at this stage.
16. Will there be scholarships available?
The Qantas Group Pilot Academy has developed a scholarship program that aims to remove barriers to entry and strengthen the industry by enhancing diversity in the pilot population. The first scholarships have already been granted to current students and the program will expand in 2020, offering various scholarships for Indigenous students and Women in Aviation.
Due to the impacts of Coronavirus on the Qantas Group, Academy scholarships are suspended until further notice.
17. When can I begin training?
There are a number of courses planned throughout 2020 and 2021, and before completing the application form you will be asked to select a preferred commencement date based on availability.
18. How do you get to the Academy at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport?
Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport is currently serviced by daily QantasLink flights directly from Sydney, with connections from across Australia and around the world. For students who choose to drive, the Academy is approximately ninety minutes from Brisbane Airport. Public transport connections are also available.
19. Do I sign a training contract with FTA or Qantas?
You will sign a contract with the training provider, FTA.
20. How long is the full training course?
The full training course duration is 52 weeks. It is possible the course could be extended if weather conditions affect flying hours during this time.
21. Where will I live whilst studying at the Academy?
We are in the process of building brand new accommodation facilities for Academy students. Residing on campus is not compulsory, however there are major benefits to taking up residence on campus. The training program is very intense and demanding. Residing on campus will allow you to be fully immersed in an aviation training environment. Our full board facilities are designed to ensure that you can concentrate on your training and best dedicate your free time to study and revision as well as allowing you to connect with other students at different phases of training. Campus living will include:
- Three meals per day & snacks (all medical and religious needs are catered for)
- Free WiFi
- Linen and towels are provided and rooms are cleaned on a weekly basis
- Access to numerous sporting and recreational facilities free of charge
- Ideal location – no additional transport to/from the training facilities
- Welfare services
- On-site security
Please note that the cost of accommodation is not included in the course fees.
Scholarships may be available to assist with the cost of on-site accommodation (refer to question 16).
22. Are meals included in the cost of the course?
The accommodation fees include three meals a day plus snacks for students residing on campus.
23. Will I have the opportunity to go home during the program?
The program does not allow for long periods of leave. Should you need to go home for personal or medical reasons, FTA will work with you to minimise any impact on your training schedule.
24. What is the total cost of the training courses and accommodation?
Detailed costs per qualification can be found here. The approximate cost of accommodation is $450 per week (subject to change).
25. Are there any payment options available to help with the cost of training?
Yes, provided that you meet the eligibility criteria.
26. What type of aircraft and simulators will I be training on?
Single engine training will be completed in the Diamond DA40 aircraft, and multi-engine training will utilise the DA42 aircraft. The commonality offered of instrument layout offered by the G1000 allows for a seamless transition from the single engine to the multi engine phase of training. The flight training component of the course will be supported by DA40 and DA42 flight training devices in order to offer a more qualitative and cost effective solution to students.
27. Will I be provided with a laptop and other items required for training?
Yes. All training materials will be provided to you by the Academy. A loan iPad will be issued with electronic learning material, specific applications and operational procedures for training. You may bring a personal iPad or laptop; however, you will still be issued an iPad by the Academy.
28. Will there be any additional non-training costs?
These costs are not included in the course cost:
- Travel for testing to/from your home and the designated location
- $200 Pilot Aptitude Test
- Travel to/from Toowoomba for the Academy course
- Academy training uniform (approximately $650)
- Personal/incidental living costs.
29. Can my training be terminated once I commence a course?
Yes. Employment in a professional aviation career is subject to ongoing training and assessment processes. Selection to commence a course is no guarantee of successful completion. Optimising chances of success will rely on personal dedication and application to study to complement the training provided.
Remedial training may be considered if an individual’s progress is not up to the standard required. Termination may also occur should a student fail to conduct themselves in accordance with the Academy’s standard of conduct.
30. My question wasn’t addressed in the above FAQs, who can I contact?
You may direct your queries to QGPA@flyfta.com.