Qantas launches direct Bendigo-Sydney service

 
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I must admit I'm a bit surprised both centres will be in Queensland.  

Although Mackay has a much larger airport with a 2000m runway, along with the allure of the Whitsunday islands nearby...

Bendigo kind of got a consolation prize in the RMIT flight training school facility.
Carnot
To be honest the north over south makes sense.  Having more days of open skies per year is a productivity matter.  Bendigo I'm sure has more clouded days than Mackay and I know Wagga is regularly foggy in the morning which impacts some flights.  When you're training new pilots i bet that having cloud free days is preferred to cloudy ones.

Theres probably some incentive payment in the deal too (though this is pure speculation on my part and it hasn't been made much of if there is).

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  Big J Assistant Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
I must admit I'm a bit surprised both centres will be in Queensland.  

Although Mackay has a much larger airport with a 2000m runway, along with the allure of the Whitsunday islands nearby...

Bendigo kind of got a consolation prize in the RMIT flight training school facility.
To be honest the north over south makes sense.  Having more days of open skies per year is a productivity matter.  Bendigo I'm sure has more clouded days than Mackay and I know Wagga is regularly foggy in the morning which impacts some flights.  When you're training new pilots i bet that having cloud free days is preferred to cloudy ones.

Theres probably some incentive payment in the deal too (though this is pure speculation on my part and it hasn't been made much of if there is).
james.au
I think that there are lots of factors. In the end, Qantas made the call on the overall package.

I think that Bendigo while it is a fair way out from Melbourne, it would still have some capacity issues for flight plans etc.

Mackay has plenty of capacity.

Prior to the GFC Singapore Airlines had a training school at Maroochydore using Learjets. They often went to Mackay to practice their landings and takeoffs or touch and goes. There is plenty of airspace in Mackay.

But as Carnot says, it is unknown what incentivisation was provided.

Probably one of the factors is that Mackay is a bigger Centre, despite what Wiki says Mackay population is 116,000 moment and growing.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Weather-wise Bendigo is probably clearer than Mackay in Summer and Autumn, but the opposite over Winter and Spring.

Incidentally, since the Qantas service started on April 1 in Bendigo, there's only been one flight delayed due to morning fog.  And none have been diverted.  Pretty good compared to a lot of other places.
  SinickleBird Chief Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
If you’re training commercial pilots, an active control tower would be an important feature. Mackay has this, Bendigo doesn’t.

As for cloudy conditions, instrument flight is standard at a very early stage. Mackay has VOR-DME and Auto Weather Reporting- in all, a more realistic environment for training airline pilots.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

If you’re training commercial pilots, an active control tower would be an important feature. Mackay has this, Bendigo doesn’t.

As for cloudy conditions, instrument flight is standard at a very early stage. Mackay has VOR-DME and Auto Weather Reporting- in all, a more realistic environment for training airline pilots.
SinickleBird
Absolutely.  I had several people inform me last year that Bendigo was only a slim chance of getting the Qantas academy without a control tower.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Weather-wise Bendigo is probably clearer than Mackay in Summer and Autumn, but the opposite over Winter and Spring.

Incidentally, since the Qantas service started on April 1 in Bendigo, there's only been one flight delayed due to morning fog.  And none have been diverted.  Pretty good compared to a lot of other places.
Carnot
Trained pilots with planes that have the neccessary navigation equipment installed is one thing - trainees with more basic planes is another.  So less fog the better.

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