Aviation trainees for good doctors
THE aviation sector of Cairns is set for an added boost after the Royal Flying Doctor Service’s call-out for more aircraft maintenance engineer apprentices to be trained at Hawker Pacific.
Currently 12 engineers and a support team provided by Hawker Pacific keep 18 RFDS aircraft in the air and ready to respond to an emergency.
RFDS Queensland chief executive Nino Di Marco said applicants from regional, rural and remote locations were encouraged to apply.
“The flying doctor is renowned for supporting the health care needs of regional, rural and remote communities but we also value the importance of sustainable employment and these apprenticeships are one way we can assist,” Mr Di Marco said.
Funded by Ergon Energy, the initial RFDS apprenticeship program will start early next year and employ two ap- plicants through a four-year program.
The Hawker Pacific Cairns facility, where the apprentices will be initially based, has employed about 70 apprentices in the past 11 years.
Hawker Pacific chief operating officer Doug Park said it was a privilege to partner with the RFDS.
“It is an honour to support the flying doctor, especially with the satisfaction of knowing we are contributing to the lifesaving work they carry out,” he said.
RFDS executive manager engineering operations Matt Spencer said “without a concerted and sustained effort in the recruitment and education of local apprentices, the Australian aviation section faced a burgeoning Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (LAME) workforce shortage which could potentially impact critical services such as those provided by RFDS”.
SAFETY FIRST: Avionics technician Turtius Voges works on a King Air B350 currently being equipped with a medical interior.