G-111 amphibious aircraft touches down in Darwin for AAI manufacturing

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G-111 amphibious aircraft arriving in Darwin from Melbourne by truck. Image credit: Investment Territory 

A G-111 amphibious aircraft arrived in Darwin Thursday ahead of Amphibian Aerospace Industries’ (AAI) plans to kickstart a brand-new aircraft manufacturing industry in the Northern Territory. 

AAI will manufacture the Albatross G-111T, making it the Territory Australia’s first manufacturer and exporter of the aircraft capable of taking off and touching down from land, snow, ice, and water. 

The 13-tonne plane arrived from Melbourne via truck and will be housed in a hangar on Bonney Court at the Darwin International Airport, which AAI recently secured through a lease from Airport Development Group. 

The hangar will be subjected to refurbishments over the next three months to allow early works ahead of the development of the Aerospace Manufacturing Precinct-Darwin, where the production of the G-111T model will occur. 

The Albatross G-111T has not been commercially manufactured for six decades. 

The model will be used as the prototype to manufacture upgraded, CASA-approved versions, to be named the G-111T, which will be utilised in the key sectors of defence, tourism, border security and search and rescue operations. 

The AAI manufacturing project is expected to create around 300 direct local jobs, according to the NT government

The number will progressively increase through 2030, including long-term and sustainable Aboriginal employment through targeted training and workshops, the government said in a media statement

“The reality of manufacturing amphibious aircraft here in Darwin has really set in today, with the arrival of this historic G-111,” said Chief Minister Natasha Fyles. “This exciting venture will create hundreds of local jobs and upskilling opportunities for Territorians, while also injecting millions into our economy.

“The Northern Territory is Australia’s best investment right now and everyone from mining giants to multi-national French aviation leaders are buying into the comeback,” Minister for Advanced Manufacturing Nicole Manison said. 

“This is another significant step forward in what will be a long-term creator of highly-skilled jobs for the Northern Territory.”