Matthew Redway learned to love flying as a child, watching passenger planes landing on the dusty rural airstrip of Griffith Airport in regional NSW.
The first-year aviation student made the daunting choice to move 16 hours away from home this year to take the chance to study at University of Southern Queensland.
His decision couldn’t have come at a better time as planes head back to the skies after the progressive global easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions.
Matthew’s goal is to one day fly commercial planes like the ones he used to watch as a child.
For now, he’s getting used to being in the pilot’s seat in University of Southern Queensland’s flight simulator.
“I’ll be flying the Boeing 737 Simulator with one of my friends I have made here at university,” he said.
“It will be exciting learning together how to perform as a crew as well as a team in the flight deck.”
Second-year student Cassie Potts chose to pursue a career as a pilot after an introductory flight several years ago.
“I just loved the feeling I had up in the air flying the aircraft,” she said.
Cassie also has fond childhood memories of learning to love the act of flying, watching international planes take off and land at Brisbane Airport.
“I was just so amazed at how these huge planes could get off the ground,” she said.
Her career goals include international flight, along with a goal to fly for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Ultimately, she hopes to become an air crash investigator with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
Cassie and Matthew are both pursuing a Bachelor of Aviation with a major in Flight Operations. UniSQ students can also pursue a major in aviation management.
University of Southern Queensland aviation program director Dr. Tarryn Kille said the suite of qualifications at the university were designed to capture strong employability and industry-informed skill requirements of future aviation professionals.
“Industry analysists have commented that the outlook for the aviation industry looks bright,” she said.
"We are already seeing a dramatic recovery of the industry as air transport services are critical to the domestic and global passenger and freight services.
“As the world comes to terms with the management of COVID-19 and the re-opening of local and domestic borders, we are encouraged to see the positive job prospects and employment opportunities.”
Dr Kille said students willing to learn had a bright future in a changing industry as developments in automation, unmanned aerial vehicles and the integration of drones presented emerging opportunities.
“The UniSQ BAVN program intends to arm students with the necessary skills to be adaptable and agile in this highly competitive and fast-paced industry,” she said.
“Our programs are delivered by expert educators who have lived and current experience as aviation professionals.
"What excites me most is the curriculum design that is focused on the students and their progress towards making strong and positive contributions to the success of the aviation industry.”
Prospective pilots can find out more information on our website.
University of Southern Queensland aviation students.