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Tuesday, 8 March 2005
Page: 189


Senator Mark Bishop asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 17 December 2004:

(1) (a)   What is the current annual budget of the Tamworth Aeronautical College; and (b) from what sources are funds provided.

(2)   What is the current level of cost recovery by way of fees and other contributions from industry.

(3)   Do any industry participants provide funds, scholarships or make other contributions in cash or in kind; if so, what are they.

(4)   How many students are currently enrolled at the end of 2004.

(5)   What is the current drop-out rate for 2004.

(6)   What capital contributions were made to establish the school by the Commonwealth and others. (7)   (a) How was Tamworth chosen as the site; (b) what other sites were considered; (c) why were other sites deemed to be unsuitable; and (d) who made the final decision and when.

(7) (a)   How was Tamworth chosen as the site; (b) what other sites were considered; (c) why were other sites deemed to be unsuitable; and (d) who made the final decision and when.

(8)   What other qualifications beyond courses completed at the school are required to obtain a licensed aircraft engineer’s certificate.


Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The Minister for Transport and Regional Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   to (3) The Australian Pacific Aeronautical College Incorporated (APAC) is an incorporated association registered with the New South Wales Department of Fair Trading that has been established as a non-profit organisation. APAC have indicated that the detailed financial information sought is commercially sensitive, however I can advise that, in addition to fees paid,         - The Australian Government contribution is $4,100,000 over 4 years;         - Eastern Australia Airlines and BAE Systems contributed around $500,000 in cash and/or kind in the first year (2001), and around $250,000 in total in subsequent years;         - Tamworth City Council contributed $1,000,000 in cash and/or kind in the first year and around $100,000 per year thereafter.

(4)  

ENROLMENTS - 2004

COURSE

ENROLMENTS

1265 AEROSKILLS

61

1290 AVIATION - AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS

6

7122 AEROSKILLS (MECHANICAL)

42

7123 AEROSKILLS (AVIONICS)

14

7125 AEROSKILLS (STRUCTURES)

3

7131 AEROSKILLS (AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE ENGINEERING - ME)

8

TOTAL

134

(5)   Withdrawal figures will not be available until March 2005. Preliminary figures for 2004 indicate that 2 students withdrew from courses during 2004.

(6)   Besides the answers noted in the answers to questions 1-3, the New England Institute of Technical and Further Education contributed in excess of $50,000 in cash for the feasibility/research into APAC, and the New England and North West Regional Development Board (NSW State Government) contributed $10,000 into the APAC feasibility study and business plan. (7)   (a) to (c) In 2000, representatives from Eastern Australia Airlines (EAA) and BAE SYSTEMS’ Flying College discussed the concept of an Aeronautical college due to the shortage of qualified Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineers and Licensed Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineers. This shortage was hindering the expansion of their engineering operations in Sydney and Tamworth. Discussions were then held with various Government bodies as to alternatives and apprenticeships in Tamworth. This led to meetings with the New England Institute of TAFE and regional development personnel that produced a grant application to fund equipment, aircraft and renovations.

(7) (a)   to (c) In 2000, representatives from Eastern Australia Airlines (EAA) and BAE SYSTEMS’ Flying College discussed the concept of an Aeronautical college due to the shortage of qualified Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineers and Licensed Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineers. This shortage was hindering the expansion of their engineering operations in Sydney and Tamworth. Discussions were then held with various Government bodies as to alternatives and apprenticeships in Tamworth. This led to meetings with the New England Institute of TAFE and regional development personnel that produced a grant application to fund equipment, aircraft and renovations.

Tamworth was the only site proposed as Tamworth Airport is the home of EAA’s major engineering and administrative operations and BAE SYSTEMS’ Flying College, which provides commercial licence pilot training for domestic and international airlines as well as the Australian Defence Force and Defence Forces from overseas. The airport also has a number of other general aviation-engineering firms who will require trained engineers. There are 30 aviation-engineering firms located in the New England and NorthWest regions of NSW.

(d)   The decision to support the proposal was announced by the Hon. John Anderson MP in a media release dated 24 August 2001.

(8)   To become a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (LAME) students must pass exams set by Civil Aviation Safety Authority on basic aircraft systems, and have completed at least four years’ relevant aviation maintenance experience.

APAC currently offers the Certificate IV Aeroskills in Mechanical, Avionics or Structures streams. It is necessary that one of these streams be completed (along with four years practical aviation maintenance experience) prior to sitting the CASA exams for LAME.

An Aeroskills Diploma is now being developed to be delivered by APAC by June 2005. APAC plan that the Diploma in Aeroskills will cover all licensing requirements to become a LAME and will be recognised by CASA.

Tamworth was the only site proposed as Tamworth Airport is the home of EAA’s major engineering and administrative operations and BAE SYSTEMS’ Flying College, which provides commercial licence pilot training for domestic and international airlines as well as the Australian Defence Force and Defence Forces from overseas. The airport also has a number of other general aviation-engineering firms who will require trained engineers. There are 30 aviation-engineering firms located in the New England and NorthWest regions of NSW.

(d)   The decision to support the proposal was announced by the Hon. John Anderson MP in a media release dated 24 August 2001.

(8)   To become a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (LAME) students must pass exams set by Civil Aviation Safety Authority on basic aircraft systems, and have completed at least four years’ relevant aviation maintenance experience.

APAC currently offers the Certificate IV Aeroskills in Mechanical, Avionics or Structures streams. It is necessary that one of these streams be completed (along with four years practical aviation maintenance experience) prior to sitting the CASA exams for LAME.

An Aeroskills Diploma is now being developed to be delivered by APAC by June 2005. APAC plan that the Diploma in Aeroskills will cover all licensing requirements to become a LAME and will be recognised by CASA.