Australian academy to train Indian pilots

Victoria's Ballarat airport is to be upgraded to establish a pilot training academy on the site. The Ballarat council has signed an agreement with a Singaporean consortium to establish the facility.

The academy will train up to 600 pilots a year, starting November 2007. Most of the students will be from India and China. Pilots will be trained on Cessna 172s, which are small, light fixed-wing aircraft that already operate out of the airport and most regional airports in central Victoria.

Since the Ballarat pilot training academy will use small aeroplanes, there is no need to upgrade the present runway for larger planes. But the airport will need a number of improvements.