Transport & Logistics |
RMIT University

RMIT lands in South Australia, addressing pilot shortage

20 December 2018


RMIT lands in South Australia, addressing pilot shortage

RMIT has today announced a new aviation training school partnership with Hartwig Air in response to a growing worldwide pilot shortage.

As part of the partnership, an entry-level Associate Degree in Aviation is set to be delivered in-part by Hartwig Air in South Australia on behalf of RMIT, meaning South Australian students will no longer need to immediately relocate to Victoria to gain in-demand aviation skills.

According to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) estimates, the Asia Pacific region alone will need more than 230,000 pilots by 2031.

Hartwig Air CEO Captain David Blake said approximately 5,000 pilots were trained every year in Australia, but there was still a gap of approximately 9,000.

“We know the aviation industry needs qualified pilots and we are confident the Hartwig Air-RMIT partnership can help address some of this unprecedented demand,” he said.

“We are delighted to be using the same teaching methods, assessment and student information systems that RMIT uses at its aviation training school at Point Cook in Melbourne’s west.”

Blake said the partnership had brought two well-established aviation training providers together.

RMIT Pro Vice-Chancellor Science, Engineering and Health and Vice-President Professor Peter Coloe said the partnership made sense because RMIT was a premium aviation training destination and Hartwig Air had an enviable reputation in the aviation industry.

“Hartwig Air has an international quality accreditation and is well-known for preparing students for the world of work,” Professor Coloe said.

Coloe said the partnership also provided students with unparalleled learning opportunities, by enabling students to work on shark patrol and regional mail delivery services through Hartwig Air’s charter division.

“For a young pilot, this opportunity provides invaluable paid hours in command of aircraft and makes them highly-employable as they have more than the minimum number of hours under their belt when they graduate.”

With a pathway from Vocational Education to Higher Education, Associate Degree graduates will also have the opportunity to fast-track into a Bachelor of Applied Science (Aviation) at RMIT in Melbourne, which would take approximately 18 months of further study to complete.

Graduates from Applied Science (Aviation) could then become an airline pilot or choose to continue their studies via a Masters Degree or PhD in aviation. 

With Hartwig Air being an accredited training provider for Vietnam Airlines, the partnership could also enable students and aviation cadets to undertake aviation training at RMIT in Vietnam.

Study enquiries should be directed to Hartwig Air (08 8258 4244).

- Ends


About RMIT

  • RMIT is a global University of technology, design and enterprise and where teaching, research and engagement are central to achieving positive impact and creating life-changing student experiences.
  • Founded in 1887, RMIT is a multi-sector university with more than 87,000 students and 11,000 staff globally. The University enjoys an international reputation for excellence in professional and vocational education, applied and innovative research, and engagement with industry and the community.  
  • With three campuses and two sites in Australia, two campuses in Vietnam and a research and industry collaboration centre in Barcelona, Spain, RMIT is a truly global university. RMIT also offers programs through partners in Singapore, Hong Kong, mainland China and Indonesia, and has research and industry partnerships on every continent.
  • The RMIT Flight Training School was established in 1994 and has trained more than 3,000 pilots from around the world, with many now holding senior roles with major airlines such as Qantas, Virgin Australia, Cathay Pacific, Oman Air and Air China.


About Hartwig Air

  • Hartwig Air has been based at Parafield in Adelaide since 1969, and is the oldest established flying school at Parafield Airport, Australia’s Centre of Aviation Training Excellence.
  • Having trained more than 3,000 commercial and private pilots, Hartwig Air graduates have climbed the ranks to fly for some of the world’s leading airline carriers including Qantas, British Airways, Air New Zealand, United Airlines and American Airlines.
  • To ensure the delivery of personalised and tailored service to students every time, classroom sizes are capped. 

For media enquiries: RMIT media, +61 (0)439 704 077 or

For Hartwig Air enquiries: +61 (0)8 8258 4244 or