Lismore, Australia – April 23rd, 2020

Plans to develop an Aviation Training Hub at Lismore Airport got a major boost with global company Airways Aviation signing a lease to base a commercial pilot training school at the airport.

Romy Hawatt, Founder & Executive Chairman of Airways Aviation & Lismore City Mayor, Isaac Smith

“This is very exciting news for our city and will give our local economy a significant boost by better using what is an under-utilised resource at the airport,” Lismore City Mayor Isaac Smith said.

“While the aviation industry has been hit by the fall-out of the COVID-19 virus, it is expected to recover quickly."

“This will be a real game-changer for the airport. In the first year alone, Airways Aviation is expecting to enrol a mixture of at least 20 domestic and international students."

“This is a project that council staff have been working on to maximise the economic benefits from the airport. This includes securing a Federal Government grant at the last election to invest $4.5 million in a Instrument Landing System so that we could attract pilot training schools.”

Airways Aviation will lease part of the Lismore Airport Terminal for commercial pilot training while its students study a Bachelor of Business Aviation Management at Southern Cross University.

Airways Aviation, which already has training academies on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, will join the Northern Rivers Aero Club, Fast Aviation and TAFE NSW which offer aviation training at the airport.

Airways Aviation has over 30 years of international experience and is today the largest privately owned group of multidisciplinary aviation academies of its kind delivering professional aviation education and training to prepare students for optimum career outcomes.

The Airways Aviation Group currently offer a range of certified Australian CASA, European EASA, ICAO and IATA courses designed to meet the rapidly increasing demand for Commercial Pilots, Aircraft Maintenance Engineers, Avionics, Ground Handlers and Cabin Crew.

With long established Academies in Europe and Australia, the expansion into Lismore will see a significant increase in our global presence as we focus on building the capability and capacity for both Domestic and International students.

Airways Aviation Lismore will initially provide ab-initio and advanced flight training to our existing as well as new student pilots but once completed, will become the Australian Headquarters and the sister school to the renowned Airways Aviation Academy (ESMA) in France - the largest and most important multidisciplinary aviation academy in Europe.

“The world is currently in pause and although we are hearing the inevitable negative stories around aviation and travel, this current COVID-19 period will soon be resigned to the annals of history and both the education and aviation industry in Australia  and globally will spring back even stronger and so let us not let this soon to be fading historical event overshadow the facts.  

The reality is that the next 30 years will see an accelerated and unprecedented demand for even more properly trained and qualified aviation industry professionals.

As the world’s population increases year on year toward hitting 10 billion inhabitants, the percentage of people and cargo movements within that global population will outpace and outgrow all previous records and we will be here to prepare, inspire and develop our graduates for careers in the burgeoning aviation industry” says Romy Hawatt, Founder & Executive Chairman of the Airways Aviation Group.

“The ever-growing aviation industry will be further supported by Airways Aviation and the local community as we develop and qualify highly skilled professionals for the industry. Lismore will be on the forefront of this expansion and will attract local and internationals from around the world.”

Research by Boeing has found that over the next 20 years that an additional 804,000 new civil aviation pilots will be needed, 769,000 new maintenance technicians and 914,000 new cabin crew.

Southern Cross University Dean of Business, Professor Robin Stonecash said the university was “delighted to be able to extend its aviation offering through pilot training at Lismore.

“Airways Aviation is a valued partner of the University, operating for several years alongside our Gold Coast campus, and we are sure they will continue to offer first class training as part of our aviation management degree.

“Aviation Management is one of the most exciting areas to study and the career prospects are enormous and varied. Southern Cross is excited to bring this right to the heart of the Northern Rivers.”

Click here to read the Lismore Government news.


The Airways Aviation Lismore Academy will be built to provide nothing short of education & training excellence with courses designed to prepare, inspire and develop our graduates for careers in the burgeoning aviation industry.

Numbers of students trained

Airline Pilot cadets                                   trained in excess of    8,000

Cabin Crew                                               trained in excess of  12,000

Aircraft Maintenance/Avionics               trained in excess of     3,100

Ground Handling                                      trained in excess of  10,000

Current Training locations

Montpellier, France

Oxford, UK

Huesca, Spain

Podgorica, Montenegro

Gold Coast, Australia

Sunshine Coast, Australia

Lismore, Australia ( new )


Current global fleet of 50 Diamond DA40, DA42 and Cessna 172 and 182 aircraft,

The largest Diamond DA40 and DA 42 training fleet in the world

Current facilities & training areas

Internal administration, operations and training facilities with over 25,000 square/meters built up area and further dedicated external facilities, including ops, students amenities and aircraft parking in excess of 100,000 square/meters.

Operates in the largest and most diverse designated pilot training area in the world covering all major weather and terrain conditions over approximately 350,000 square/kilometers.

Please see for further information  


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