15 March 2011
New fleet takes to the skies
A new 13-strong fleet of Cessna aircraft will be in operation by May, updating RMIT University's flight training capacity.
RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, with Homer Constantinides, Managing Director, Airflite, at the RMIT stand at Avalon.
RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, Minister for the Aviation Industry, Gordon Rich-Phillips, RIIERP Director, Professor Sylvester Abanteriba, and Head of the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Professor Aleksandar Subic, celebrate 20 years of the RIIERP program.
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RMIT marked the signing of a contract with Airflite, the Cessna dealer for southern Australia, at the 2011 Australian International Airshow at Avalon.
Stephen Connelly, Deputy Vice-Chancellor International and Development and Vice-President, said: "This is a continued demonstration of RMIT's commitment to provide quality flight training in Victoria for domestic students, international students and local airline clients.
"This agreement reinforces RMIT's proud history in the aviation industry and in particular its alignment with leading industry partners."
Paul Gardner, who manages flight training at RMIT's facilities at Point Cook, said: "The brand-new aircraft give RMIT the most modern flight training fleet generally available.
"This will give our students exposure to aircraft systems similar to the equipment installed in modern jet airliners, preparing them for their future airline careers."
RMIT is one of the few Australian universities to hold an Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Air Operator's Certificate (AOC).
This approval allows RMIT to issue flight crew licences up to commercial pilot level, and to give ratings and endorsements, including instrument and instructor rating.
RMIT pilot training programs meet CASA and Australian National Qualifications Framework training standards at every level.
Mr Gardner said: "RMIT's facilities, program structure and experienced qualified team of instructors are internationally recognised.
"In addition to the CASA AOC, RMIT has been granted approved flight school status by the General Administration of Civil Aviation China, the Directorate General of Safety and Aviation Services in Oman and the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam.
"We also conduct training tailored to meet the requirements of various overseas airlines."
Minister praises industry links
Gordon Rich-Phillips, Minister for the Aviation Industry and Minister for Technology, visited the RMIT stand at the 2011 Australian International Airshow.
He joined RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, in a ceremony to recognise the benefits that strong global industry connections can bring to Victoria.
This year is the 20th for the RMIT International Industry Experience and Research Program (RIIERP), which has sent more than 1,800 students overseas for six or 12-month paid placements or three to four-year full scholarship PhD research programs with leading companies.
Mr Rich-Phillips, a former RMIT aerospace engineering student, congratulated the program on the opportunities it gave young Victorians to gain experience in the aviation and aerospace sector overseas.
"It's a great credit to RMIT that the program has been such a success and I wish it all the best for the future," he said.
RIIERP's partners include aerospace firms such as Airbus, Cassidian and Astrium, which are members of the EADS Group, as well as the Rolls-Royce Group in Europe and North America, Consaro, DLR, General Electric, German Space Centre, INTALES Aerospace Solutions, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, MT Aerospace and MTU.