Head in the clouds
GATTON teenager Rebecca Hallahan could be forgiven for having her head in the clouds.
The Glennie School Year 12 student was one of 22 high school students from across the state to participate in an aviation camp at the University of Southern Queensland's Springfield campus.
The USQ Aviation Two-Day Experience was designed to give students a taste of USQ's aviation program and expose them to careers in the booming industry.
Students also got to experience what it's like to take off, fly and land a Boeing 737 by getting behind the controls of USQ's world-class flight simulator.
Rebecca, 17, is considering a career in aviation and said the camp provided great insight into the pathways and career opportunities available in the aviation sector.
"Over the years, I have been drawn to machinery, technology and engineering, but planes have always fascinated me,” she said.
"While the simulation experience was the highlight, I found the camp very useful because I got to learn about the many job opportunities there are for people who want to work in the aviation industry, but don't want to be a pilot.”
Over the two days, Rebecca got to interact with USQ's aviation academic staff and students, as well as participate in professional development workshops.
The camp also featured guest speakers, including Alliance Airlines Chief Pilot Rick Heaton, pilot Tamara Vessi and QantasLink Chief Pilot Captain Adrian Young, who provided details of the Qantas Group Future Pilot Program.
The camp coincided with the announcement that Toowoomba's Wellcamp Airport will be the home of the first Qantas pilot training academy.
The multi-million dollar Qantas academy is set to open in mid-2019 and USQ Head of Aviation and Logistics Professor Paul Bates said it was great news for future pilots.
"The university already has a strong connection with Qantas and our students who are accepted into the Qantas Group Future Pilot Program will now have a regional and local centre for flight training,” Prof Bates said.