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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Cairns aviation firm and MRO industry set for take-off with new hangar

    Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Cameron Dick

    Thursday, November 22, 2018

    Cairns aviation firm and MRO industry set for take-off with new hangar

    Cairns has been thrust into prime position to better compete for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul work from across the Oceania region and re-shore jobs to the state’s Far North thanks to a new Hawker Pacific aircraft hangar supported by the Palaszczuk Government.

    Inspecting the new hangar in Cairns today with Member for Cairns Michael Healy, Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the $4.5 million hangar expansion project, supported through the Palaszczuk Government’s $150 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, included construction of the new facility, acquisition of specific tooling equipment, mobilisation and training.

    “Projects like this send a clear message: Queensland's aviation industry 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.

    “Previously there has been no heavy maintenance capability within Australia for Fokker 70 and Fokker 100 aircraft fleets, and most heavy maintenance on jet powered commercial aircrafts has had to be conducted offshore – but Cairns is now plugging that gap.

    “Hawker Pacific’s ability to target this niche market and exponentially grow their business will deliver valuable economic benefits for Far North Queensland and build a reputation for the region as a hub for aviation industry work.

    “Hawker Pacific is already a significant employer, with 130 permanent staff at their Cairns facility, and this new hangar means they now expect to create an additional 39 highly skilled jobs, including a significant number of local apprenticeships.

    “More contractors will also be employed to cover peak work periods.”

    Mr 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,” he said.

    “In addition to generating more jobs, this expansion will also create further opportunities for the development of avionics courses and new apprenticeships, which provide a solid career path to retain valuable skills in the region.

    “The Palaszczuk Government is focused on job creation and changing workforce demands, we recognise the economic 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 now had 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 maintenance, repair and overhaul (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 the MRO 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 Palaszczuk Government is focused on job creation and changing workforce demands, now and for the years to come.

    Jobs and the skills of the future will be the focus of the Premier’s Skills and Industry Summit be held in Brisbane next Wednesday 28 November, when industry, small business, higher education, unions and government will discuss Queensland’s readiness to meet labour force needs in the years ahead.

    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.

    ENDS

    Media contact: Anika Hume 0447 320 039