Coast School flies into Asian market

Landmark training deal signed in Hong Kong

By Mechelle Webb

Cadet pilots from Hong Kong and Macau will start training on the Sunshine Coast next month after Marcoola helicopter school yesterday signed a five-year deal with two Asian companies. Becker Helicopters owners Jan and Mike Becker travelled to Hong Kong for yesterday’s signing with East Asia Airlines and HeliHongKong. The deal will see cadet pilots sent to the Coast to train for their commercial pilot licences so that they can work commercially in their home countries.

After securing the Asian contract, the Coast training school now has its sights set on other foreign markets. Ms Becker said the company’s next step was to apply for European accreditation to enable it to take British cadets. “Hopefully this contract will make it easier for us to gain accreditation in the United Kingdom and raise our international profile as a quality professional company,” she said. Queensland’s Innovation and Information Economy Minister Paul Lucas, who witnessed the contract signing in Hong Kong, said the deal was another example of how Queensland could match it with the world’s best.

“This contract was no small feat for Becker Helicopters. They took on seven companies in Canada and the United States and came out winners,” he said. Becker Helicopters recently won the Sunshine Coast Exporter of the Year award and will go on to the state awards on October 24.

The Asian trainee pilots will start their training on November 1 with up to 150 hours of flight time and 800 hours of theory. “This will enable the cadets to qualify for their commercial pilot licences and fly Helicopter Hong Kong’s service between Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta,” Mr Lucas said.

We acknowledge The Sunshine Coast Daily for the article and Mechelle Webb for writing it.


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