RMIT University has celebrated the launch of the RMIT Aviation Academy, which will bring together the university’s flight training, education offerings and research to support the growing demand for global aviation workforce skills and training. It is poised to be at the forefront of aviation education and innovation and is already sector-leading in pilot training with the largest owned and modern aviation fleet in Australian higher education.
A next generation fleet for future pilots
RMIT has been training pilots and aerospace engineers for more than 80 years across flight training sites at Point Cook and regional Victoria (Bendigo). Students have access to a comprehensive suite of aviation offerings – from vocational education to research – across aviation management, flight instructor training, air crash investigation, human factors and more.
As the next generation takes to the skies, the RMIT Aviation Academy has launched with 24 brand new aircraft, including single engine (C172 Cessna 172 and C182 Cessna 182), Piper Seminole twin engine and an 8KCAB super decathlon aerobatic aircraft.
Director of RMIT Aviation Academy, Lea Vesic, says the entirely new fleet will ensure students train and graduate with future-focused technology and innovative learning practices to give them a competitive advantage in their careers.
“This fleet of aircraft will give our students access to modern and airline-like flight deck technology and rocket-like aerobatic aircraft performance – giving them a scope of experience to be ready to fill a workforce shortage,” Vesic said.
A growing workforce across Southeast Asia
The aircraft will support the expansion of RMIT’s aviation offerings, with the ink still wet on two new airline contracts. Vietnam Airlines and VietJet will both send pilots to be trained at the RMIT Aviation Academy’s Bendigo base from 2023.
Southeast Asia is going through an aviation boom – and Vietnam is no exception. According to the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam, 23.3 million passengers took to the air in the first half of 2022, which is an increase of around 74.2% year-on-year.* Six airports are currently being built in Vietnam,** with proposals for even more.***
“We know there are endless opportunities in the international aviation market. In launching the Academy, we have a mission that, together with our partners, we will inspire, educate and cultivate a proficient global workforce to meet these challenges and find opportunities,” Vesic said.
The new partnerships in Vietnam will build on RMIT’s existing partnerships supplying specialised pilot theory courses to RAAF, NAVY and Army aviation pilots, as well as programs, research and student opportunities with Boeing, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, Qantas, Jetstar and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
A front door to the skies
With ties to research in the RMIT Sir Lawrence Wackett Defence and Aerospace Centre and the RMIT Space Industry Hub, the Academy will be a front door to industry and government looking for solutions to aviation and aerospace challenges and opportunities.
Experts are at the forefront of technology development and digital simulations (including digital twins), with testbed aircraft on site for research – including augmented and virtual reality for aircraft sustainment.
The Academy will be able to respond to market pressures and opportunities. It will address vital skills, knowledge and technology gaps in real time, positively impacting on the needs of the sector at a global level.
RMIT Aviation Academy will be demonstrating its teaching, training and research at the Avalon Airshow 23 from Tuesday 28 March – Sunday 5 March. Instructors, students and some of the new aircraft will be on display at the RMIT Pavilion.
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