The North Queensland Aero Club (NQAC) was formed in Cairns during 1949 and has been training Pilots and providing a Flying Club ever since. Our main base was originally established at the Cairns Airport and provided Flight Instruction and Charter services across the remote Cape York Peninsula. Training has been conducted at Mareeba, Cairns, Cooktown and Weipa on the Cape York Peninsula. The NQAC has also trained pilots at remote cattle stations across both the Northern Territory and Outback Queensland. These NQAC trained pilots have had, or are currently enjoying successful professional aviation careers with the major Domestic and International Airlines, and other aviation industry organisations, such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Regional Airlines and Charter operators.
During 2015 in order to maintain the standard of training being offered to members in the most economically viable way, the big decision of moving the club from the Cairns Airport to the Mareeba Airport on the Atherton Tablelands;1 hours’ drive from Cairns.
One of the biggest advantages besides the great weather of approximately 300 sunny days a year in Mareeba is that training can now be undertaken in Class ‘G’ Airspace. Students can fully focus on learning to fly the aircraft, rather than in a Class ‘C’ radar environment, where delays and holding can occur due to heavy jet traffic. When more advanced class ‘C’ training is needed, Cairns is only 10 minutes away thus still allowing the exposure to the controlled airspace environment.
In 2018 the NQAC was awarded the prestigious Aero Club of the Year Award by the Australian Division of the Royal Aeronautical Society and Australian Flying Magazine for “providing outstanding support, facilities and training to the general aviation community and displaying the highest standards of safety in operations whilst creating an environment that fosters participation in aviation.”
Our club continues to grow and expand on it’s abilities to train pilots for diverse positions within the aviation industry and provide its members and the greater North Queensland community to experience and enjoy the passion of flight.
The club is looking forward to its 75th anniversary in 2024!