15 November 2018
PGF investment in Advanced Aviation Hub in Whanganui
A $400,000 investment from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will be used to fund the first stage of an Advanced Aviation Hub at Whanganui Airport, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced today.
Manawatū-Whanganui regional leaders have welcomed Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones’ announcements today of over $48 million from government’s Provincial Growth Fund towards a Regional Freight Hub in Palmerston North, improved digital connectivity for the region, expansion of the National Driver Training Centre at Manfeild, and investment in an Advanced Aviation Hub in Whanganui.
With the capacity to train up to 288 students a year, the funding will support development of a business case to expand existing facilities, and create an advanced simulation centre.
“Across the globe there is significant demand for airline pilots, underscoring the opportunity that exists to facilitate and support required training. It’s heartening to see Whanganui looking forward to this opportunity and responding to it in this innovative way,” Shane Jones said.
“A training centre of this kind can support pilots, flight attendants, aeronautical engineers and others to gain the licencing and qualifications needed for modern aircraft. It will also have major benefits for the economy of the city,” Shane Jones said.
Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall says the investment will be used to produce a business case for expanding our existing world-class pilot academy facilities.
“This injection means we can investigate the potential for an advanced simulation centre to enable pilots to undertake the most up-to-date training,” says Mayor McDouall.
“The NZICPA could become an internationally significant pilot training organisation, attracting more people to our district.”
“A training centre of this kind could support up to 288 students per year, enabling pilots, flight attendants, aeronautical engineers, and others to gain the qualifications needed for modern commercial aircraft.
“This will be transformative for Whanganui,” says Mayor McDouall.
Accelerate25 lead team facilitator and Horizons Regional Council chief executive Michael McCartney says that today’s Provincial Growth Fund announcements have enabled these major projects to progress and is another positive step towards helping the region meet its full potential.
“This includes upskilling our people, creating more jobs, moving products efficiently and effectively, and providing better connectivity,” says Mr McCartney.
“We have a strong local plan that directly links to central government’s commitment to lifting regional productivity and ensuring all New Zealanders are able to participate in an economy that is inclusive, sustainable and productive.
“We welcome the ongoing investment in our region.”
Other announcements made for the region included:
• $100,000 to investigate FoodHQs development to assist food exporters
• $100,000 to assess alternative land utilisation choices in the Tararua District
• $98,000 towards Kaitahi Food & Innovation Factory
• $95,000 towards establishing an education, training and employment programme at the former site of Turakina Māori Girls’ College
• $60,000 towards the Tararua Tourism & Trails Strategy
• $50,000 to investigate education to employment pathways within Horowhenua
Caption: Mayor McDouall (second from right) at the announcement by Minister Shane Jones.