WAGGA'S Regional Express flight academy may soon be eligible to expand in a bid to combat a crippling global pilot shortage.
It comes after the airline invited regional councils on Tuesday to submit expressions of interest to increase or establish new training academies.
"We need to expand our training facilities. We're already doubling the size of our accommodations here in Wagga," Rex executive chairman Chris Hine said.
"Expressions of interest are sought from any regional councils, including Wagga, to assist us in making the decision of how to place that additional training.
"There's an enormous demand and a great opportunity, so it's open to anyone interested."
In mid-2019, Boeing predicted a shortage of 800,000 pilots is expected in the next 20 years with about 40 per cent of them needed in Asia Pacific.
Mr Hine said the goal was to address that forecast.
"Australia is really well positioned to capitalise on that," he said.
"We've got fantastic weather, we've got a great airspace and we've got a great safety record. We've also got a really good regulatory structure and we've got some fantastic skills around pilot training."
The invitation to councils was announced on the same day two cohorts of pilot students graduated at Rex's academy in Wagga.
"Twelve years later, we've put through 250 cadets, so it's a really proud moment for us, the organisation and the the families and friends of the cadets," Mr Hine said.
Among the graduates, who are set for Rex and Vietnamese carriers after receiving their commercial pilot licences, was 29-year-old Darcy Holbery-Morgan.
Ms Holbery-Morgan, who has degrees in science and education, described it as "a huge day of mixed emotions" at the academy.
"We live, breathe, sleep and eat aviation," she said.
"It's a massive undertaking, which makes the rewards of today that much sweeter."
Ms Holbery-Morgan said that after finishing her science and education degrees, she went travelling for one year and wanted to enter a field that involve travelling.
"I'm quite an anomaly in my family - there's no aviation history there," she said.
"You have to jump both feet first - there's no half-hearted attitude in aviation. The love and the passion will get you through."
We live, breathe, sleep and eat aviation.Darcy Holbery-Morgan, Rex graduate
Wagga mayor Greg Conkey said the city has a great academy.
"It's well-respected and Wagga is ideally located. I'm sure Wagga will continue to be considered for potential pilots throughout the world," he said.
In November, Rex bought an academy in Ballarat and renamed it Australian Airline Pilot Academy Victoria.
Among the guest speakers was Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack, who said the academy was one of Wagga's institutions that delivered excellence.
"We're so proud of these latest graduates, who leave us knowing that Wagga Wagga is part of their stories," he said.
"As we go forward, there's going to be a great pilot shortage, particularly in the Asia Pacific. Rex are addressing that need.
"Our regional towns and cities couldn't survive, indeed thrive, without a good airline such as Rex."