Today I officially opened a new state-of-art fire training facility at Melbourne Airport.
The $22 million Learning Academy Hot Fire Training Ground is the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere and will combine aviation rescue and fire fighting training.
More than 250 fire fighters are expected to pass through the new facility each year, ensuring that in the unlikely event of an accident at our major airports, onsite fire and rescue services respond with highly trained personnel and the latest equipment.
The centrepiece of the new training ground is a full-sized mock-up aircraft fuselage over 56 metres long, 10 metres high and 29 metres wide, replicating sections from the Airbus A380 and Boeing 767 which will be used to simulate real-world fire fighting and rescue situations.
The new training facility is also home to the Trident Mk5, Striker Mk7 and Panther MK8, three of Australia’s largest fire fighting vehicles. Together, this equipment will help train fire fighters to respond to larger and newer aircraft that will land at Australian airports.
Australia’s airports now handle over 137 million passengers a year and this number is forecast to double within the next twenty years. It is vital that airports in capital cities and regional centres are able to service this demand with the most advanced rescue and fire fighting aviation equipment.
The Learning Academy Hot Fire Training Ground is part of a $140 million investment over the next five years to modernise emergency services at the nation’s busiest airports, underscoring the Government’s commitment to keeping the Australian aviation industry one of the safest in the world.
The Learning Academy Hot Fire Training Ground will commence training operations later this week.