Becker Helicopters is the largest civilian helicopter flight training company in Australia. Founded in 1995 at Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Airport, the company provides pilot training services and programs for overseas military personnel as well as advanced training including night vision goggle operations for medical and fire crews.
By the end of 2018, the company will fully establish an operating base in South Australia’s Upper Spencer Gulf region. The establishment of the new base in Whyalla is being supported by the South Australian Government through the Economic Investment Fund (EIF).
The planned growth includes hangers, hard-stands and administration buildings and will be established at the Whyalla Airport to provide pilot and aircrew training for military and civil personnel.
This will equate to up to 50 international students every year, which will be supported by 80 ongoing full-time jobs. In addition to the ongoing jobs, predominantly pilot instructors, engineers, operations and administration staff, further local jobs from flow-on work are likely to be created, as a result of the number of students living in the area.
Becker Helicopters’ expansion into Whyalla will create a new business sector for the town and increase economic activity in regional South Australia.
Discussions are underway between Becker Helicopters, the University of South Australia and TAFE SA to form training partnerships, facilitating the delivery of degree-level and vocational aviation and aerospace training courses in Whyalla. At least 50 international students will live in the area during their two-year course, creating further economic benefits for local businesses.
Captain Jan Becker, Chief Executive Officer of Becker Helicopters said the company is proud that South Australia is going to be home for their major training capabilities and have been overwhelmed by the support and assistance they’ve been receiving from the local Whyalla Council and the South Australian Government.
“Our partnerships with TAFE SA and UniSA are integral to this operation and the type of courses we are offering. The infrastructure that is existing in the town, and yet to be built, will see our capability increase as the opportunities for the area and the local community grow,” said Ms. Becker.
“South Australia is the Defence State and as such we intend to bring Defence business into the area. We are excited about engaging in the community and providing our aviation and aerospace services into the future.”
Owner Mike Becker said the business had been welcomed with open arms in South Australia, achieving in nine months what couldn’t be accomplished in 10 years in south east Queensland.