CQUniversity signs agreement with Hinterland Aviation

Published:19 December 2017

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman and Hinterland Aviation CEO Peter Christoudias officially sign a partnership that will see the local airline provide practical flight training for CQUniversity students.

CQUniversity has joined forces with Hinterland Aviation signing an agreement that will see the local airline provide practical flight training for CQUniversity students.

“Hinterland Aviation is a small airline that services the Far North Queensland region and this agreement will give our Bachelor of Aviation (Flight Operations) and Graduate Diploma of Aviation (Flight Operations) students in Cairns a fabulous opportunity to not only fly, but work with an already established airline,” CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman said.

A recent Boeing study showed that the airline industry will need 600,000 pilots over the next 20 years.

“It’s a win-win partnership as it is also likely to provide Hinterland a supply of pilots in a time of global pilot shortages,” he said.

Professor Bowman said the partnership was also another leap forward in CQUniversity’s Cairns Community Impact Plan.

“Earlier this year we announced the $54.7m CQUniversity Cairns Community Impact Plan, a shovel-ready funding proposal to Government, designed to stimulate new industries in the North and generate maximum community impact,” Professor Bowman said.

“In it, we outlined a number of strategic projects designated to launch the emerging local industries of Cairns including an Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub, and we are now beginning to see elements of the Plan come to fruition with today’s partnership announcement.

“This partnership once again highlights our strong commitment to working and supporting the communities in which we operate.”

Hinterland Aviation has been providing essential air services to the Cairns region for over 30 years with 15 aircraft and carrying more than 70,000 people per year.

CEO Peter Christoudias said the partnership would take a ‘holistic approach’ in preparing students for a professional career in aviation and said he looked forward to working in synergy with CQUni and its students.

“Through this agreement, our airline will be able to employ students immediately upon completing their degrees, providing not only the graduate, but also our operation, with tremendous opportunities,” Mr Christoudias said.

“We are also 100 percent locally owned so by employing these students we will be ensuring that money stays in North Queensland.”

CQUniversity Aviation Professor and Head of Course Steven Thatcher said the university was committed to excellence in aviation education and training.

“The Cairns Campus will be the headquarters for our aviation operations with plans to establish an Aviation Centre of Excellence in the region as part of the Asia-Pacific Aviation Hub,” Professor Thatcher said.

“CQUni has launched a new suite of Aviation courses focused on airline pilot education and training. These courses include a Bachelor's degree, an Associate degree and a Graduate Diploma which have all been uniquely designed to encourage students in both regional Australia as well as the capital cities, who have the ability and potential, to become airline pilots.

“This relationship with Hinterland Aviation will provide our students with a fantastic pathway into a regional airline.”