The Queensland Government has approved more than $2 million in funding, through the Jobs and Regional Growth Fund, for a Cairns-based aviation firm to expand its hangar facilities at Cairns Airport.

Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, said Hawker Pacific planned a $4.5 million expansion to help capture more heavy maintenance work from around Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and Pacific nations.

“The expanded hangars will allow Hawker Pacific to better compete both nationally and internationally for heavy maintenance, attracting work otherwise sent to Asia or Europe,” Mr Pitt said.

“Hawker Pacific applied to the government’s Jobs and Regional Growth Fund for a contribution towards their $4.5 million expansion project, and the government has approved support of $2.475 million to back this very worthwhile job-creating project.

“By keeping the work onshore, the company expects to engage an additional 39 workers by September 2021 and create 50 jobs during construction.

“I understand a significant proportion of the new operational staff will be sourced from the Cairns Aviation Skills Centre, with the project providing a valuable pathway for graduates.

“This is a carefully targeted investment by the government that will pay dividends in the future by expanding the Far North Queensland economy and delivering jobs.

“It underlines the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to backing jobs and regional business operators and fostering the growth of highly skilled, high-tech jobs in regional communities through dedicated programs such as our Jobs and Regional Growth Fund,” Mr Pitt said.

Hawker Pacific is a leading, integrated aviation solutions provider with more than 30 years’ experience serving corporate, government, and private customers across the Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

Hawker Pacific’s vice-president for maintenance repair overhaul services, Jason Burzacott, said as part of its strategic review, the company has established and are looking to expand a niche in providing heavy maintenance to turboprop and jet powered commercial aircraft within the Oceania region.

“There are approximately 100 aircraft in this potential market, with a significant portion of the operators being Australian-based companies,” Mr Burzacott said.

“These operators are all existing Hawker Pacific’s customers for different services, however the aircraft currently go to Asia and Europe for their heavy maintenance.

“To capture and service this market, Hawker Pacific identified the need to expand their existing hangar facilities by 50 per cent.

“We welcome the government’s support of this job-creating project which is an investment in the strength and future of the aviation sector in our state and region.”

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