Eagle set for take-off

Excited about future of flight school in Gisborne

Excited about future of flight school in Gisborne

Stock image.

GISBORNE is to become a training ground for international commercial airline pilots, with an Auckland-based flight training school shifting its operations to Gisborne Airport in the next two days.

In a move expected to inject $9.15 million into the regional economy over the next three years, Eastland Community Trust invested $200,000 to help Eagle Flight Training relocate its Ardmore operation to Gisborne following a successful joint initiative between ECT and regional economic development agency Activate Tairawhiti.

The investment will cover relocation costs, an accommodation subsidy and the refurbishment of Gisborne Aero Club, which will be a base for operations.

“Our independent economic impact assessment identified that the school will likely contribute $9.15 million to the local economy over the next three years,” ECT chairman Michael Muir said. The bulk of that spend will be derived from the students who will stay here anywhere between 52 and 75 weeks.

“It’s widely accepted that international students have a significant economic impact on a region as they require accommodation, ground transport, meals and are socially active in the community. It is also our hope that, with a facility like this at our fingertips, there will also be an opportunity for locals to access training.”

Positive impact for Gisborne airport

The impact for the airport would also be positive, he said.

“Not only will landing fees improve the airport’s profitability, increased usage will further embed the manning of the tower and improve the sustainability of a vital transport link to the rest of the country.”

Management from the company will be on site this week, with the first training flights scheduled to start on Thursday.

“Eagle Flight Training is one of the key players in the New Zealand flight school landscape,” Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen said.

“Graduates are highly sought after, thanks to the school’s reputation for providing quality education and training, and maintaining a professional and cohesive management team respected by the international aviation industry.”

Eagle Flight Training

Eagle Flight Training (EFT) specialises in training international students to an advanced level as a precursor to entry into the aviation industry. The school provides flight and ground training from a basic private licence to a commercial licence, along with Instrument Rating qualification and a Diploma in Aviation. Pilots are prepared, primarily, for Vietnam Airlines’ commercial pilot training programme.

The operation consists of four aircraft, five instructors and 25 student pilots, but the company plans to increase that to 50 students a year.

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon congratulated EFC on its decision to relocate to Gisborne.

“ECT, GDC, Eastland Group (which operates the airport) and EFC have all worked hard to have a flight school here in Gisborne. I have met with the principals of EFC and I have visited the EFC at Ardmore. I have met with the Vietnam air training school people also on two occasions and I’m excited about the future of EFC in Gisborne.”

Mr Foon said EFC would not only bring trainee pilots to Gisborne but also provide a large amount of exposure of our region to the world, including China, Indonesia and Vietnam.

“The world needs more pilots and EFC will be able to cater for this demand.”

Mr Foon pointed out that students would bring families with them and having the flight school here could also increase tourism offering, with new products like sky-diving a possibility.

GISBORNE is to become a training ground for international commercial airline pilots, with an Auckland-based flight training school shifting its operations to Gisborne Airport in the next two days.

In a move expected to inject $9.15 million into the regional economy over the next three years, Eastland Community Trust invested $200,000 to help Eagle Flight Training relocate its Ardmore operation to Gisborne following a successful joint initiative between ECT and regional economic development agency Activate Tairawhiti.

The investment will cover relocation costs, an accommodation subsidy and the refurbishment of Gisborne Aero Club, which will be a base for operations.

“Our independent economic impact assessment identified that the school will likely contribute $9.15 million to the local economy over the next three years,” ECT chairman Michael Muir said. The bulk of that spend will be derived from the students who will stay here anywhere between 52 and 75 weeks.

“It’s widely accepted that international students have a significant economic impact on a region as they require accommodation, ground transport, meals and are socially active in the community. It is also our hope that, with a facility like this at our fingertips, there will also be an opportunity for locals to access training.”

Positive impact for Gisborne airport

The impact for the airport would also be positive, he said.

“Not only will landing fees improve the airport’s profitability, increased usage will further embed the manning of the tower and improve the sustainability of a vital transport link to the rest of the country.”

Management from the company will be on site this week, with the first training flights scheduled to start on Thursday.

“Eagle Flight Training is one of the key players in the New Zealand flight school landscape,” Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen said.

“Graduates are highly sought after, thanks to the school’s reputation for providing quality education and training, and maintaining a professional and cohesive management team respected by the international aviation industry.”

Eagle Flight Training

Eagle Flight Training (EFT) specialises in training international students to an advanced level as a precursor to entry into the aviation industry. The school provides flight and ground training from a basic private licence to a commercial licence, along with Instrument Rating qualification and a Diploma in Aviation. Pilots are prepared, primarily, for Vietnam Airlines’ commercial pilot training programme.

The operation consists of four aircraft, five instructors and 25 student pilots, but the company plans to increase that to 50 students a year.

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon congratulated EFC on its decision to relocate to Gisborne.

“ECT, GDC, Eastland Group (which operates the airport) and EFC have all worked hard to have a flight school here in Gisborne. I have met with the principals of EFC and I have visited the EFC at Ardmore. I have met with the Vietnam air training school people also on two occasions and I’m excited about the future of EFC in Gisborne.”

Mr Foon said EFC would not only bring trainee pilots to Gisborne but also provide a large amount of exposure of our region to the world, including China, Indonesia and Vietnam.

“The world needs more pilots and EFC will be able to cater for this demand.”

Mr Foon pointed out that students would bring families with them and having the flight school here could also increase tourism offering, with new products like sky-diving a possibility.

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Winston Moreton - 1 month ago
Was it only six years ago I put up opinion in this newspaper that the Pilot Training Centre zone being applied for on land next to the airport should have been at the airport? The planning application was heard by the hard-working councillor Pat Seymour (coincidentally pictured on the same front-page as 'Eagle Take-Off' today) and by now retired, and missed, feisty Cr Craig Bauld. I commented that there should be input by our airport authority, the ECT-owned Eastland Group. Guess what - they turned up the next day with a hashed-up submission in support and said it could not be located on our airport land for legal reasons. The application was approved. What has changed? Will there be an application for planning consent? Will the crowd who won the airport school zoning next door object?