Aviation industry set to take off

Aviation industry set to take off
Words by Stacey Carrick

The aviation industry in Cairns is perfectly positioned to soar to new heights once the COVID-19 crisis is finally over.

With world-class aviation training facilities in Cairns, as well as our major tourism attractions, significant growth is definitely on the cards for the far north.

Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to support locally produced goods and services, according to Cairns Aviation Skills Centre/Aviation Australia business manager Chris Pigott.

“I fully support keeping it local,”
Mr Pigott said.

“We need to keep spending our money locally, support local groups and source our goods and services locally in order to keep the Cairns economy going.

“Cairns Aviation Skills Centre and Aviation Australia staff are involved with the Chamber of Commerce, Advance Cairns and Tradelinked.

“These organisations support local businesses. We are currently working on a growth project; we will be selecting a local company for that shortly.

“It’s important to support local businesses and continue to employ locals so we don’t lose their skill sets and so we can keep them alive during these difficult times.

“The aviation industry will bounce back very quickly. The people with skills acquired prior to COVID-19, those skills will be needed when the industry returns.

“We had 60 apprentices from the Northern Territory doing their training in Cairns. They are continuing their online learning program in the NT as if they were sitting here in the building in Cairns.”

The Cairns Aviation Skills Centre has been operating since 2004. There have been 700 apprentices trained locally and more than 7000 professionals have been upskilled in every aspect of the aviation industry.

“The skill and talent in Cairns is of a world-class standard,” Mr Pigott said.

“Our aviation engineering training is not just of an Australian standard, it’s of a European standard as well.

“We are also looking at a very large expansion plan for the Cairns Airport in conjunction with the State Government. This will be a game changer for the aviation industry in Cairns.”

Mr Pigott said the Cairns community is extremely resilient in difficult situations such as COVID-19.

“The community really supports each other when necessary,” he said.

“That’s the underlying strength of the Cairns region.

“We have enormous growth opportunities in Cairns. I definitely anticipate that it will come back.

“This is a bump in the road that no one saw coming. However, we will have new opportunities in the future.

“We are fortunate enough to have the reef and the rainforest.

“We live in such a nice part of the world, so we are definitely perfectly positioned for future growth.”