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New Air Force Cadet Centre opened

written by WOFA | April 14, 2014

The opening of the new AAFC National Aviation Centre at Bathurst. (Defence)
The opening of the new AAFC National Aviation Centre at Bathurst. (Defence)

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence, Darren Chester has officially opened the Australian Air Force Cadets National Aviation Centre at Bathurst.

Overseen by the RAAF, the new $5 million centre is located at Bathurst Aerodrome, and will become home to a National Aviation Centre for 7,100 Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC).

“The facility will make aviation training more accessible for Cadets from around Australia,” Chester said. “It will be used by cadets aged between 13 and 20 years-of-age who will travel from all over Australia to participate in weekend and school holiday aviation camps in Bathurst. Bathurst was chosen as the home for the AAFC’s dedicated National Aviation Centre for its uncongested airspace, whilst remaining close to Sydney which will provide easy access for Cadets from around Australia.”

Darren Chester MP and Chief of Air Force AIRMSHL Geoff Brown prepare for a glider flight at the NAC opening. (Defence)
Darren Chester MP and Chief of Air Force AIRMSHL Geoff Brown prepare for a glider flight at the NAC opening. (Defence)

The new facility will have accommodation for up to 80 cadets and 20 staff at any one time, and the buildings will include classrooms, living accommodation, kitchen facilities, and a separate hangar to house aircraft.

The official opening also saw the first of 19 new gliders which have been purchased by the RAAF for the AAFC unveiled.


  • Raymond


    This is an excellent development – only wish I was a few years younger!

    What type are the new gliders?

  • Dane


    $5 million is a lot to invest in something that’s not guaranteed to give returns by people joining the ADF. Considering purse strings are being tightened across all government departments, I’m surprised the RAAF managed to find that much loose change.

    • australianaviation.com.au


      Of all RAAF-bound applicants accepted into ADFA each year, more than 30% have been in the AAFC. I’d say that’s a very good investment.

  • John


    An excellent investment.

  • Cameron


    Fantastic idea and will definitely have a return on its investment for RAAF. I personally was a cadet (naval cadet) but can rattle off at least 50 people that i went through with that ended up joining one of the three services.

  • Charlie


    The 19 new aircraft will be a mix of DG-1001 two seat sailplanes and ASK-21M two-seat motorgliders.

    As for the ‘questionable value’ of AAFC as a source of recruits for RAAF, both CAF and soon-to-be CDF are ex cadets. And they are just two of very, very, many.

    Further, I have had several very senior combat pilots tell me that they much prefer glider pilots as recruits for military pilot training, for a bunch of reasons. That is why serving and ex-serving RAAF members from the rank of Air Vice Marshal down regularly volunteer their time to instruct on cadet gliding camps.

  • Steve


    It’d be even better if the Feds chipped in to upgrade the runways and taxi ways at YBTH.
    The local Council are trying to get rid of the airport because they’re not prepared to pay for the much needed upgrades.
    I can’t see how this new project will actually still be there in 10 years.
    Urban incrochment is closing in on the famous Aerodrome. And we all know what that means.

  • Andrew


    Excellent, my son goes to gliding camps during school holidays, The Australian Air Force Cadets are fantastic, what an opportunity for the kids who are willing to go further that the average teenager.

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