Western Australia Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls
Wheatbelt Could Be The Centre Of Excellence In Aviation Training
Victor P Taffa
A ministerial taskforce report on the suitability of Western Australia’s Wheatbelt as an aviation centre has found the region is ideally suited, particularly in pilot and instructor training.
The Wheatbelt Aviation Strategy Ministerial Taskforce was formed by Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls to investigate the current level of aviation activity in the Wheatbelt and the future development of the industry.
Mr. Grylls said community leaders and the Wheatbelt Development Commission had long recognised the potential for growth in aviation in the Wheatbelt.
Taskforce chairman Hon Max Trenorden MLC today handed the report to the Minister.
“The taskforce has found there is a sound infrastructure base for the future development of general aviation and pilot training capabilities in WA, however, there appears to be a lack of forward planning and disjointed policy development that is hindering further growth in the industry.” Mr. Grylls said.
“While the State Government can provide clarity in terms of policy frameworks and possible incentives for development, it will require industry expertise to develop frameworks to deliver quality pilot training to a world standard.”
“We have a training area in the Wheatbelt that is not overcrowded and this could provide world-class facilities.” Mr. Grylls said.
“However, students are being turned away due to constraints associated with the current infrastructure and operator capacity.”
The report said Jandakot, WA’s secondary airport, was close to or at its maximum capacity for charter and general aviation. This was expected to force any expansion of facilities, including training, to alternative locations.
“It seems that hundreds of students are being turned away from Western Australia due to insufficient facilities to accommodate their training requests.” the Minister said.
“The report shows that a collaborative effort involving the aviation industry, community and Government could utilise the infrastructure base in the Wheatbelt to develop a quality network of airstrips and training centres.” Mr. Grylls said.
Pictured L-R (standing) – Hon Mia Davies MLC, Peter Kocian CEO Shire of Wyalkatchem, (Seated) Wendy Newman Director Wheatbelt Development Commission, Hon Max Trenorden MLC (centre) and Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls