Albatross arrives in Darwin to kickstart regional aerospace manufacturing

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www.ses.ieThe foundation aircraft that will effectively be the engineering prototype for the Australian Northern Territory’s new aerospace manufacturing industry has arrived in Darwin after the long journey from Victoria aboard three semitrailers. Amphibian Aerospace Industries (AAI) will restore and extensively modify the 1960s Albatross flying boat, paving the way for the versatile transport category G-111T to be manufactured from the ground up in the region. The first fully restored Albatross will be flying before the end of 2023.

AAI has reached several foundation objectives including appointing key staff, establishing its research and development centre at Darwin Airport, and the delivery of the first of two original aircraft.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Natasha Fyles and Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Advanced Manufacturing Nicole Manison joined AAI Chairman Khoa Hoang and CEO Dan Webster at Darwin Airport to celebrate the milestones that will see the first all new AAI Albatross G-111T roll off the production line within five years.

“This is an exciting day for Darwin, the Northern Territory and for Australian manufacturing,” the Chief Minister said. “The reality of manufacturing amphibious aircraft here in Darwin has really set in today, with the arrival of this historic G-111. This exciting venture will create hundreds of local jobs and upskilling opportunities for Territorians, while also injecting millions into our economy. This investment is building a brand new industry for the nation right here in Darwin. Both AAI and ShinMaywa will work together to make the Territory the destination for amphibian aircraft manufacturing,” the Chief Minister said.

The AAI Albatross G-111T will be equipped with modern Pratt and Whitey turboprop engines and state of the art avionics and will have a wide range of applications from passenger transport, search and rescue, aeromedical and more.

AAI Chairman Khoa Hoang acknowledged the importance of the NT Government’s support.  “The Northern Territory Government’s enthusiasm has been the springboard AAI needed to attract investor and buyer interest from around the world, and we’re delight with the excitement we’re witnessing in the market right now,” Khoa said “The NT government is a critical investor and shareholder in this exciting new industry and we’re looking forward to giving the people of the NT a fantastic return on that investment in the years to come.”

CEO Webster says the path to full scale manufacturing is a huge logistical and resourcing challenge. “With the support of the NT Government, AAI is creating a whole new industry which will require a highly skilled workforce and specialised supply-chain which will yield enormous economic benefits for the Northern Territory and for Australia. We have iconic international firms engaged with us such as ShinMaywa, Dassault and Pratt and Whitney. This is a huge vote on confidence in what we are doing and the feasibility of our programme.”


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