Cessna Caravan Simulator
The Cessna Caravan (C208) light aircraft is widely used under challenging conditions in remote locations across the region and the wider Asia-Pacific.
Pilot training currently takes place within aircraft, allowing little room for pilot error in treacherous and remote terrain and unpredictable climactic conditions. A number of crashes have occurred in this aircraft type with the need for a simulator to provide a risk-free training experience.
To address this issue in the General Aviation sector, there is a pressing need for the Cessna Caravan Simulator to implement advanced safety standards and enhance training programs for pilots serving rural and remote areas.
Benefits to the region
The launch of the Australia-first Cessna Caravan full flight simulator would establish the Far North as a top-tier aviation training hub.
This initiative would introduce advanced safety standards and enhanced pilot training for pilots serving rural areas in Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific. Moreover, it would free up aircraft for crucial commercial, humanitarian, and emergency operations in the region.
This development signifies a significant step forward in aviation training and safety, enhancing the industry’s capabilities in remote regions.
The Queensland Government invests $8m capital cost to establish Australia’s first Cessna Caravan full fight simulator (to be operated on a common user model) to ensure safe training across commercial and humanitarian sectors, establishing the city as the only such centre for specific pilot training across Australia and the wider Asia-Pacific.
The Cessna Caravan (C208) light aircraft is ideally equipped for versatile, remote operations in demanding conditions and is widely used across the region by a number of commercial operators. It is the most commonly used aircraft by Far North Queensland-based MAF International (MAF), the world’s largest humanitarian airline and the proponent of the simulator.
The C208 aircraft provides critical access to remote communities which would otherwise be isolated. There are just under 130 registered in Australia.
Pilot training currently takes place within aircraft, allowing little room for pilot error in treacherous and remote terrain and unpredictable climactic conditions. A number of crashes have occurred in this aircraft type with the simulator providing for a risk-free training experience.
A Cessna Caravan simulator would be the first of its kind outside the United States and would provide a steady stream of new pilots prepared in a safe environment for unique regional conditions. It would also ensure that current pilots are upskilled on an ongoing basis. Together with the Cairns Aviation Skills Centre (CASC) and Aviation Australia, Australia’s only Cessna Caravan simulator would cement Cairns as a national flight training hub, complementing the pilot training offered through CQUniversity’s aviation school.
It is anticipated that the establishment of the simulator in the city could lead to a CASA mandate requiring pilots across the nation to undertake training in Cairns. The simulator would align with the training offered at the Queensland Government’s Cairns Aviation Australia’s facility within the industry led CASC and also attract pilot trainees from across the region, helping build capacity in the Pacific, particularly in Papua New Guinea (PNG). MAF currently trains pilots in East Arnhem Land and hopes to further expand its Indigenous training program.
2024-25 Queensland Budget Submission
View the full list of projects and policies that feature in our 2024-25 Queensland Budget Submission.