From Sea to Sky: Territory Lands Australia-First Aircraft Deal

NT Government

8 December 2021

The Territory will become Australia’s first manufacturer and exporter of the iconic Albatross G-111T, an amphibious aircraft which can take off and touch down from land, snow, ice and water.

The Territory Labor Government is investing $10 million into Amphibian Aircraft Holdings Pty Ltd (AAH), to build upgraded versions of the Albatross amphibious aircraft in Darwin. This includes an agreement between AAH and global engine manufacturers Pratt & Whitney Canada to the G-111T aircraft.

Around 300 direct jobs will be created in AAH when they reach full production. This includes increasing long term and sustainable Aboriginal employment through targeted training and workshops.

The investment will be made on a matched basis with private equity, through the Government’s Local Jobs Fund.

Once established in the Territory, AAH will generate extensive value to the NT economy with the company forecasting annual revenue of over $100 million by the end of the decade.

The Albatross has a long and distinguished history but has not been commercially manufactured since the 1960’s. It is a highly-regarded aircraft and evidence through market studies have demonstrated that there is a strong demand for it to fill an identified gap in the global aviation market.

This will be an exciting opportunity to build a new industry together with its associated supply chain which will create flow-on benefits for jobs, education and the economy in the Northern Territory.

AAH is developing a buy local policy, which will support local industry that meet the aerospace industry certification and quality requirements on a cost competitive basis. The strategic aim of the business is to develop a fully local workforce with the advanced manufacturing centre creating and sustaining new jobs which will provide long term, highly skilled career pathways.

AAH plans to have the modified aircraft CASA certified within 18 months, with production having commenced by 2025.

Quotes from Chief Minister Michael Gunner:

“This is a big deal for the Territory and for Australia – we will be building amphibious aircraft that will be exported to the rest of the world by the end of the decade.

“This exciting venture will create hundreds of jobs and upskilling opportunities for Territorians, while also injecting millions into our economy.

“The Territory is taking off, and this is just the beginning.”

Quotes from Minister for Mining and Industry Nicole Manison:

“This investment is building a brand new industry for the nation right here in Darwin.

“This means jobs, jobs and more jobs for Territorians, and new opportunities for locals and businesses.

“AAI will also bolster our export capabilities, with the company forecasting annual revenue of over $100 million by the end of the decade.”

Quotes from Chair of Amphibian Aerospace Holdings Khoa Hoang:

“We are delighted to have the Northern Territory Government as an equity shareholder of the group. It was fitting that a visionary government has chosen a visionary program for the people of the NT.

“Australia has never had an FAA transport category aircraft manufacturer and nothing of this scale has come to Australia so it’s a great opportunity not only for AAI but for the supply chain that will grow around our business. Over 90% of our current sales enquiries has come from overseas so it will bring much needed export dollars for Australia.

“The Albatross currently holds a monopoly in its class being the only FAA transport category amphibian aircraft for 28 passengers. More than this, the Albatross has unmatched pedigree with battle proven capabilities in search and rescue, coastal surveillance, narcotics enforcement, medevac, humanitarian assistance, cargo, utility, defence and many more roles. With the new technologies that Amphibian Aerospace industries will be developing in new variants of the G-111T Albatross, we are confident that a formidable aircraft will be relevant for many decades to come.”

Quotes from Airport Development Group (ADG) CEO Tony Edmondstone:

“AAH is a world leader in the development and production of amphibian aircraft and we acknowledge the significant support from the Northern Territory Government in securing this fantastic opportunity for the Territory and Territorians.

“AAH has chosen Darwin Airport as their Australian base to manufacture a new version of the Albatross Aircraft, and this decision will put Darwin on the map and provide long term economic benefits and diverse job opportunities.

“ADG will be working closely with AAH to develop an aircraft production campus within the Darwin Airport business precinct with a staged construction plan expected to be formulated in 2022.”

Quotes from Member for Solomon Luke Gosling:

“This is what the Territory is about: leading the way in aviation. This will offer highly skilled jobs for our kids and work for our businesses, but it’s about so much more than that.

“The world is looking at the Indo-Pacific region, and Darwin is close to strategic sea lanes.

“With its long flight range and an ability to land and take off without runways, the Albatross will be attractive to customers around the world.

“I’m really proud to support this sustainable and long-term global amphibious aviation industry growing right here in Darwin.

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