Bringing highly skilled aviation jobs back to Rocky Airport
Alliance Airlines’ new $60 million aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility officially opened today at Rockhampton Airport, allowing about 100 highly skilled aviation jobs to come back home to Australia, as well as supporting 16 new, traineeships and apprenticeships.
The new precinct means Alliance can service their fleet of 70 aircraft right here in Rockhampton, instead of their current maintenance contracts in Slovakia and the United Kingdom.
It also opens up a raft of new opportunities for Queensland suppliers for avionics, aerospace technologies, wheels, tyres, brakes and landing gear, engine maintenance, interiors and upholstery and cabin accessories.
The facility supported around 115 construction workers and is estimated to create roughly 100 skilled engineering and maintenance jobs by 2024.
There will also be at least 16 local traineeships and apprenticeships offered, creating new career paths for young job seekers across Central Queensland.
The new $60 million MRO site was made possible through a $21 million Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility loan.
A further $25 million contribution was made by the Australian Government, along with $2 million from the council, to fund upgrades to the existing airport infrastructure in order to support the Alliance facility, taking the total precinct investment figure to around $87 million.
Construction of the new MRO facility was also backed by the Queensland Government’s $175 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund to ensure Alliance can maintain its growing aircraft fleet in Queensland.
The project is another prime example of all three levels of government and the private sector working together to deliver for regional Queensland.
The aviation MRO industry in Queensland is valued at $565 million and supports approximately 4,200 jobs.
Over the next decade it is predicted global aircraft engine MRO will become a US $474 billion growth area.
Minister for Resources and Minister for Northern Australia, Madeleine King said the new facility is anticipated to inject $30 million into the local Rockhampton economy each year, with the three-bay hangar servicing the airline’s fleet of over 70 aircraft.
“Alliance Airlines’ maintenance facility will provide valuable jobs and investment for the Rockhampton economy,” Minister King said.
“The project has already created jobs during its construction phase and is set to support an additional 100 ongoing jobs in the region.
“This will be game-changing for Rockhampton, and is yet another example of how the NAIF is working to advance Queensland’s economy.”
Assistant Minister for Regional Development, Senator Anthony Chisholm said the project has played a pivotal role in bolstering the confidence of businesses in the region to expand their capabilities and services.
“As well as delivering local jobs and bringing millions of dollars of investment to the Rocky economy, this new facility will make a real difference for the local aviation industry and the critical services and businesses it supports,” Senator Chisholm said.
“Investing in this type of project is essential to help our regions grow by attracting investment and creating employment opportunities.”
Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Cameron Dick said this is a great day for Queensland, landing aviation jobs, skills and development on home soil.
“Economic modelling shows that this facility is expected to directly boost the Queensland economy by almost $195 million over the next 10 years,” Treasurer Dick said.
“Facilities such as these are a catalyst for further regional development by attracting specialty high value freight and logistics suppliers and a range of aeronautical support companies to the region.
“The commitment of Alliance to Rockhampton shows that Queensland has the capabilities to enhance their operations and further consolidates our growing reputation in the multi-billion-dollar global aviation industry.”
State Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the new Alliance Aviation maintenance facility was already making a differencing in the community.
“Alliance already have 10 employees and one of those in an apprentice with another one started shortly,” he said.
“They are currently on a recruiting drive, looking to fill a further 11 positions and five of those are apprentices.
“This is a great result for Rocky as the company plans to employ about 100 highly skilled operations workers including at least 16 trainees and apprentices when it is fully operational in 2024.”
Mayor of Rockhampton Regional Council, Tony Williams said this is a significant milestone for our region and one that will help drive future jobs and opportunities.
“We know that we need to secure new jobs and industries going forward and this initiative does exactly that,” Mayor Williams said.
“Locals will now have that opportunity to train and work in the aviation maintenance industry and to see the benefit of those jobs.
“This not only delivers for residents today but sets us up for the future.
“I want to thank all parties involved in this initiative and highlight the way in which all levels of government have worked with industry to bring this new facility to our region.”
Alliance Airlines Managing Director, Scott McMillan said the new Maintenance and Repair facility means we have been able to bring our maintenance activities from overseas back to our home soil in Queensland.
“Alliance Airlines sees Rockhampton as a key hub for our operations, and this facility solidifies our long-term commitment to the region,” Mr McMillan said.
We are absolutely confident that this significant investment in aviation will attract other industry participants to invest here in Rockhampton.
“We can’t wait for our fleet to continue to soar thanks to this joint collaboration with Federal, State and Local Government.”