CQUniversity Bundaberg Aviation Senior Lecturer and recently inducted Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) Mike Malouf' says the need for pilots and pilot training will soar to new heights in a post-pandemic world.
Dr Malouf was made a Fellow of the RAeS – the highest award conferred by the world's only professional body dedicated to the aerospace community.
Having worked for CQUni for three-and-a-half years' Dr Malouf has many decades of experience behind him' as a pilot and director of several aviation companies' but he said teaching brings him the most joy.
"I feel humbled by the recognition that such a wonderful society has given me' when there are so many others more deserving'" Dr Malouf said.
"I have membership with the RAeS and have participated in their events and webinars. More recently I have partnered on occasions with Cool Aeronautics' a subsidiary of RAeS in bringing aviation and aerospace into the STEM space throughout the Wide Bay and Gladstone regions.
"CQUni and Cool Aeronautics had the booth Moving on Mars at the Global Science Festival in Gladstone and also participated at the science extravaganza at Bundaberg North State High School involving several primary schools in the district."
He said his fascination with aviation began at childhood and he eagerly obtained his civilian licenses early on in life.
"I preferred to go high school teaching' but I taught aviation to many of my students over lunchtime' with many going on to become air force and airline pilots. Over the years I went on to lecture in aviation at three universities and ran two international aviation companies.
Much of his experience involved flights for aerial photogrammetry in Australia and New Zealand for government and private firms.
Recently CQUni has entered into several training partnerships with a number of aviation' companies' including the creation of an aviation school in Cairns. Dr Malouf said this was sign of a lift-off in the demand for pilot training.
"There will soon be a huge movement in aviation. Pre-COVID the world was needing almost 800 000 airline pilots' of which 261 000 had to be sourced from the Asia Pacific'" he said.
"While airlines have been affected by border closures and lockdowns' they are starting to rally – ten per cent of airline pilots who were stood down during the pandemic will not return to airline flying due to age and other reasons' leaving room for young aspiring pilots.
"CQUni has a keen relationship with the major airlines and knows what industry wants. We work hard to implement these expectations into the theory we teach at university' and into the curriculum our Flight Providers follow for practical flight instruction.
"With the movement of General Aviation pilots into the airlines' and the recognition CQU aviation students are getting from industry because of the high standard they're achieving' our students will be exposed to myriad flying opportunities in the near future.
"Of all the universities I've lectured at' CQUni has the best model for pilot flight training with an ensemble of over 20 Flight Providers scattered in almost every State and territory of Australia."