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Geraldton is the next hopeful for a pilot training centre


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It seems that someone has told the City of Greater Geraldton, that the way forward to great income is establishing a pilot training centre.

 

Towards that end, they are bending over backwards to assist any prospective pilot school starters, and paid Crothers to issue a prospectus. Good luck, Geraldton, it could take a while for someone to put their hand up.

 

https://thewest.com.au/news/geraldton-guardian/sky-is-the-limit-for-geraldtons-pilot-school-bid-ng-b881162124z

 

https://www.cgg.wa.gov.au/profiles/cgg/assets/clientdata/pilot_training_academy_opportunity_geraldton_australia.pdf

 

They have been upgrading and extending the Geraldton airport runway, so I guess that's at least one proactive move.

 

https://www.cgg.wa.gov.au/your-council/key-infrastructure-projects/geradlton-airport-upgrade-project-2018-19.aspx

 

My experience of Geraldton is that you'd need to put armed sentries on every aircraft, because they'd be stripped or stolen, within 5 mins of being left unattended.

 

 

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And Merredin sits there unused....

 

An interesting story here about foreign airport ownership from a year ago but still relevant to Merredin and other council owned airports.

 

Foreigners willing to invest but Aussies not?

 

https://thewest.com.au/business/aviation/chinese-ownership-of-merredin-airport-sparks-controversy-ng-b88705220z

 

Speaking of security, I was just doing some research on the Warburton airstrip and was reading the google reviews on Warburton.

 

When you stay at the motel, you are effectively locked into a razor wire compound at night.....

 

The ...ahh....locals still manage to get in and steal everything they can.

 

One tourist was told "Remove everything on the outside of your vehicle if you want to see it in the morning....."

 

I know people that have flown in and overnighted but I think it might just be a fuel stop for me...

 

 

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I've driven around Warburton and it is unbelievable that a town such as this could exist in modern-day Australia. The whites are locked inside their 3M high wire compounds every night, along with guard dogs.

 

Every second vehicle in town is unregistered and has at least 2 broken windows and 2 bald tyres. The cops turn a blind eye.  In fact, the "tour of duty" for cops there, is limited to several months, as I understand (BIL is ex-copper).

 

When I drove around town, I could have been forgiven for thinking I was in the very worst of a South African shanty town slum with rampant gangs.

 

In one street I drove up, barricades of tyres and rubbish blocked the entire street - because the mob up that end of the street, were fighting with the mob up the other end of town.

 

That was their way of stopping the other mob from driving past and hurling rocks and bricks.  I really would have liked to have taken photos, but you are banned from taking photos of the locals, and the instant you produce a camera, you are likely to be attacked.

 

On the outskirts of town, there were clothes strung through the bushes, beds laying under trees - and rubbish everywhere. These people are not Stone Age, they make Stone Agers look positively educated, peaceful, and civil. The drug problem there is enormous.

 

 

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My experience of Geraldton is that you'd need to put armed sentries on every aircraft, because they'd be stripped or stolen, within 5 mins of being left unattended.

 

Certainly not my experience and I've been flying into Geraldton since 1970. These days I park closer to the terminals or the in the main hangar area - certainly not off in some far corner.

 

Geraldton has a few potential drawbacks for any scaled up flying school. It's quite busy with RPT and charter. Although the main runway is substantial, the 14/32 runway is narrow, and runs onto other runways at the ends. 09/27 is natural surface, and would probably need work on it - but it is into wind for the horrible, gusty easterlies that are notable here. It's also very hot in summer and that may place limitations on training. Crime and anti-social behaviours have become an issue in what was once a peaceful seaside town.

 

And Merredin sits there unused....

While China Southern was operating there, it was not easy to access. I think the main problem for them was the reluctlance of instructors to locate there, especially senior instructors. A once flourishing flying club ceased to exist within a year or two, and mostly because it was unable to obtain the 'promised' weekend instructor  from the CS school.

 

Speaking of security, I was just doing some research on the Warburton airstrip and was reading the google reviews on Warburton.

Everything said about YWBR matches my obs.  It's just revolting, and I thought that I'd seen it all in PNG and the Solomons.

 

 

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While China Southern was operating there, it was not easy to access. I think the main problem for them was the reluctlance of instructors to locate there, especially senior instructors. A once flourishing flying club ceased to exist within a year or two, and mostly because it was unable to obtain the 'promised' weekend instructor  from the CS school.

Hard to get it all in one spot I guess.....

 

Flat farmland, good weather and unimpeded skys at Merredin.  But then the remtoteness .....

 

Having said that (and just checking), it's only 130 NM from Perth....

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think YMBD -Murray Bridge- would be a great place for an expanded flying school. Great flying weather, friendly and (generally) honest locals, and under an hour to Adelaide on an excellent freeway.

 

 

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There's been no news on Q's 2nd academy since the end of Sept 2018, after a big flurry of news articles between June and Sept that year.

 

Q was supposed to have announced their 2nd academy location by the end of 2018, looks like it's still being mulled over in the boardroom, as to which location can offer the biggest carrot?

 

 

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Is Busselton still in the running for the second Qantas academy? First went to Toowoomba if I recall

Really doubt they'll get it. The EPA has alot of noise restrictions there on the number of circuits, night flying etc.

 

Some time ago the council thought they were smart in offloading noise complaints to the EPA and that has come back to bite them.

 

There is at least one wealthy neighbour who has his lawyer on speed dial, and isn't afraid to use it at the hint of an aircraft engine.

 

And I really do mean lawyer....

 

Of course the shire may have forgotten to tell Qantas all that.... lol.024_cool.gif.e4faea8b8d6d5d6e548e269d4b8acbd2.gif

 

A few of the other shires down that way are not particulatly interested in aviation at all as well...... it upsets the greeny/alternative lifestyle types if you know what I mean.... Peace and tranquillity. ...maaan...

 

 

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The Peace and Tranquility people also get very upset, when aircraft fly low over their carefully-hidden cash crops .... 013_thumb_down.gif.4863ae72427800e7c2610d25be9b56cd.gif

 

They know then, the next visit is from a squad of people in blue clothing, intent on ripping up their cash crops .... 047_freaked.gif.81ab513ce5b74e486c6543f0b61ab189.gif:freaked:

 

 

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Yeah I recall the Helicopter scenic flights ( is/was a forum member here) lasting about 5 minutes and shut down by Busselton mob. Operated out of Cowaramup initially. Not too sure of the details but he mentioned lots of complaints from these anti aviation types..

 

 

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I think he was based at the margaret river strip at some point and had his helicopter damaged overnight which may have been the last straw.

 

In the end, I don't think it ended up being his helicopter that was causing problems. There are a number of private resorts and residences that ferry people in and out from Perth virtually daily. It was one of these that was the culprit but he was blamed as he was the only one publically advertising helicopter flights.

 

 

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