Hawker Pacific’s Cairns operations will soon be soaring to new heights, with the aviation company completing construction of a new aircraft hangar, supported through the Palaszczuk Government’s $150 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the $4.5 million hangar expansion will ensure Hawker Pacific can better compete for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) work from across the Oceania region.
“Projects like this send a clear message: aviation in Queensland is booming, and our government is doing everything it can to continue building priority growth industries that will enrich our state’s future,” Mr Dick said.
“Until now, most heavy maintenance on jet powered commercial aircrafts had to be conducted offshore. Hawker Pacific’s ability to target this market and exponentially grow their business is expected to deliver valuable economic benefits for Far North Queensland.
“Hawker Pacific is already a significant employer, with 130 permanent staff at their Cairns facility, and they expect to create an additional 39 highly skilled jobs, including a significant number of local apprenticeships, well before September 2021.”
Member for Cairns Michael Healy said many of Hawker Pacific’s new staff will also be graduates of the Cairns Aviation Skills Centre, which is training the region’s future workforce for the thriving aviation sector.
“This new hangar is a great example of the private sector successfully working with government to produce high-skilled jobs for our region,” Mr Healy said.
“The Palaszczuk Government recognises the importance of this expansion, and we’re excited this work is happening here in Far North Queensland.”
Hawker Pacific is a highly regarded, integrated aviation business specialising in aircraft maintenance, component repair and avionics, with more than 30 years’ experience serving corporate, government, military, and private customers.
Hawker Pacific Vice President Jason Burzacott said the company is looking forward to having 4000 square metres of hangar space to take on niche maintenance work for aircrafts like the Fokker 70/100 fleet.
“The 50 per cent extra hangar capacity will improve our competitiveness and allow us to conduct around 24 additional heavy maintenance services each year, which will enable us to secure sustainable, long-term employment for our staff,” Mr Burzacott said.
“Over the past 10 years, Hawker Pacific has provided training and employment for more than 75 of our own apprentices through the Cairns Aviation Skills Centre, and we’ve also teamed up with Aviation Australia to support the training of many other apprentices, including cadets from Papua New Guinea and Oman.”
Mr Dick said Queensland’s reputation as a regional hub of expertise in aircraft MRO continues to spread across Asia-Pacific and is supported by the recent announcement that Brisbane will host the inaugural MRO Australasia exposition in March 2020.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to developing this industry – one that in 2015-16 generated approximately $1.2 billion in revenue, contributed $565 million to Queensland’s economic growth, and supported 4200 jobs across more than 300 enterprises,” he said.
“Our assistance for Hawker Pacific is a great example of the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund supporting businesses from across regional Queensland to expand their commercial operations, create new jobs and strengthen their local economies.”
Hosted by Aviation Week Network, the MRO Australasia event will become part of an existing worldwide series of MRO tradeshows held in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.
The Queensland Aerospace 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan was released in June 2018.
Learn more about the Queensland Government’s Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.