Steve Padgett, Managing Director of the Aeromil Group of Companies, announced a local pilot scholarship program during the official opening of the new Flight Options Flight Training Centre on Tuesday.
Flight Options offers private, commercial and advanced pilot training and the new facility, located at Sunshine Coast Airport, aims to bring a new approach to flight training.
The purpose-built facilities, located on the Aeromil Pacific site, will offer students the latest technology, new aircraft, innovative courses, a great location and the chance to work with highly experienced instructors.
The Centre will also be working closely with schools, colleges, community groups and the government to develop aviation courses that will advance the economic development of aviation in the region.
Steve Padgett furthered that commitment during his opening speech on Tuesday announcing his decision to offer up two fully-paid local scholarships to one male and one female student, with a combined value of $52,000.
The highly successful aviator told guests of his early struggle to make it in the industry, saying he wanted to now give back by offering two enthusiastic young people the industry start they wouldn’t necessarily be able to achieve on their own – the attainment of a private pilot’s licence.
“I am delighted to announce a local pilot scholarship program; an initiative we are very proud of as an investment in the local community and the future of aviation,” Mr Padgett said.
“We hope to be able to take a young man and a young woman out of the High Schools in the immediate area.
“That’s just the start; I’ll be working on how we then develop this to the next stage – a commercial pilot’s licence for those two people.
“The aim will be to not only to give them the scholarship, but we’ll work to go to the next stage with them and that way I can give a little bit back to what was given to me,” he added.
Mr Padgett, Flight Options Chief Pilot and GM Phil Laffer, and their highly qualified team were congratulated by guest speakers, State MP and Speaker of the House, Fiona Simpson and Sunshine Coast Mayor, Mark Jamieson.
“In life there are people that make things happen, people that watch things happen and people who wonder what happened; and clearly Steve [Padgett] sits in the first of those categories as being someone who makes things happen,” Mr Jamieson said.
“He has been a fantastic pioneer for the aviation industry on the Sunshine Coast; and the Flight Options Flight Training Centre is a tremendous initiative and really adds to the industry that we are trying to develop here at the Sunshine Coast Airport.”
The Flight Options Flight Training Centre includes simulator rooms, classrooms and flight briefing rooms with Category B simulators and Garmin G1000 training equipment.
Airside, students fly new glass cockpit Cessna aircraft, equipped with Garmin G300 technology.
The Academy also offers advanced business and corporate aviation training utilising Flight Safety Level D full motion Citation Mustang simulators, the most sophisticated and advanced technology available for aviation training.
For full pilot training course information visit the Flight Training section of the Flight Options website: www.flightoptions.com.au/flight-training.