( From left ) Tom Fanshaw, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and Kimberley Pike. Qantas pilot training academy announced for Wellcamp airport. Thursday, 27th Sep, 2018.
( From left ) Tom Fanshaw, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and Kimberley Pike. Qantas pilot training academy announced for Wellcamp airport. Thursday, 27th Sep, 2018. Nev Madsen

USQ aviation program set to take off in Toowoomba in 2020

THE University of Southern Queensland appears set to bring its aviation degree to Toowoomba in 2020.

The idea to expand the degree to Toowoomba was first floated in September when Qantas announced Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport had been selected as the site for its Pilot Academy.

Vice Chancellor Geraldine Mackenzie told The Chronicle plans were yet to be finalised, but the university was working towards an early 2020 start date for the aviation degree in Toowoomba.

"We have to go through all the normal processes," Professor Mackenzie said.

"We're looking at purchasing another flight simulator, so we need to decide what sort of aircraft that will be and go through all of those things."

As part of USQ's Bachelor of Aviation, students have to undertake flying lessons outside of the university. While the Qantas Pilot Academy is not related to USQ's degree, students could decide to undertake their flight training with the academy.

"Having aviation here in Toowoomba makes a lot of sense for many reasons," Prof Mackenzie said.

"It will coincide nicely as the academy will have been going for around six months (when the degree starts in Toowoomba).

"There is also strong demand in Springfield."

Prof Mackenzie said the Federal Government's freeze on regional university funding could have an impact on the course's expansion to Toowoomba.

"Our hands are tied with expansion of programs through the freeze on funding," she said.

The Qantas Pilot Academy at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport is expected to welcome its first students in the middle of 2019.

Pilot training academy: Wellcamp Airport to have Qantas pilot training academy.