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1. General

What advantages does the International Aviation Academy have?

Rich History and Extensive Experience: The academy has been teaching people to fly since 1963, which equates to decades of experience in aviation education. Our long-established presence in the field ensures that our students receive high-quality instruction, benefiting from our extensive knowledge and understanding of the aviation sector.

Continuous Growth: Over the years, our academy has expanded its horizons, welcoming more students, adding more aircraft, and constantly exploring new opportunities in the aviation field. Our continuous growth and evolution underline our adaptability and readiness to meet the changing needs of the aviation world.

Robust Community Engagement: We are proud of our strong club spirit. We routinely organise events, trips, competitions, and outings, providing an engaging and supportive environment for our students. This community-oriented approach not only enriches the learning experience but also offers valuable networking opportunities.

Commitment to High Educational Standards: Our academy maintains high educational standards, and we invest in the continuous professional development of our staff. This dedication ensures that our students are instructed by top professionals who are up-to-date with the latest knowledge and best practices in the industry.

State-of-the-Art Facilities and Equipment: We take great care in maintaining and regularly updating our facilities and aircraft in line with modern technologies. This commitment guarantees that our students have hands-on experience with the most current tools and technology in the aviation industry, preparing them for the ever-evolving world of aviation.

At Auckland International Pilot Academy, we strive to provide the best learning environment for our students, supporting them as they turn their dreams of flying into reality.

Who can learn to Fly?

Anybody can learn to fly, a lot depends on what kind of flying you want to do. Whether you want to fly for pleasure, with a Private Pilot Licence (PPL) or you want a career in aviation, once you learn to fly there is no looking back.

How long will it take to become a commercial pilot?

If you study the New Zealand Diploma in Aviation Level 5 (General Aviation) full time you can become fully licenced in 74 weeks, and with the Level 6 Diploma (Aeroplane Flight Instructor) you can gain your Commercial licence and become a qualified flight instructor in 84 weeks.

Can I work while I am at the Academy?

Students are able to work part time however, it is most important that a job should not be allowed to interfere with the prime objective of training. Students should not expect part‐time work to pay for their course, but wages can subsidise living expenses.

Does my licence expire?

Your licence is valid for the lifetime of the holder. It should be noted though that there are currency requirements and a biennial flight review to ensure that you are operating the aircraft safely.

To keep your licence active, you must perform three take-offs/landings every 90 days. Then you will need to undergo a flight review every two years.

Do you offer part-time/casual training?

Auckland International Pilot Academy only provides full-time study options. If you wish to obtain your pilot licence through part-time study, we can refer you to one of the instructors at North Shore Aero Club. They can provide a better understanding of the costs involved and the time frames required, as well as create an individual study plan that fits your budget and schedule.

Does your academy do licence conversions for overseas licences?

Yes, we do offer licence conversions for overseas licences.

What types of aircraft are in the Auckland International Pilot Academy fleet?

Our fleet is made up of the following models:

  • Robin R2120 (More commonly known as Alpha 120)
  • Robin R2160 (Alpha 160)
  • Cessna 172 SP
  • Beech BE76 Duchess

Our Robin 2120 and Alpha 160 aircraft form the basis of our training fleet. They are very popular, modern, and easy to fly aircraft with agile handling and benign staling characteristics.

The R2120 aircraft are powered by a 118BHP Lycoming engine producing around 700fpm rate of climb and 100kts cruise performance whilst the big brother Alpha 160 is powered by a 160BHP Lycoming engine and is fully certified for aerobatics.

Our Cessna 172s are the late model SP versions. The SPs have a 180BHP engine producing good climb performance, 120kt cruise. The Cessna 172 is the most popular aircraft in the world with more built than any other aircraft. It has very good short field take-off and landing performance and can comfortably carry 4 people a reasonable distance.

The industry benchmark in IFR multi-engine training aircraft, nothing beats a Duchess. Equipped with all the best avionics, Garmin 430W GPS, Bendix King Nav, Com, ILS & ADF equipment and the stunning S-Tec 65 autopilot, this is the best Duchess in New Zealand.
The aircraft is powered by 2 x 180BHP Lycoming engines producing 1250fpm rate of climb and 157kts cruise performance.

Does AIPA assist with Immigration and visa paperwork?

We do not have a licensed immigration adviser on our staff, but we can refer you to one of the best professionals in the field with whom we work. They will definitely be able to assist you in achieving the desired results.

Does AIPA provide airport pick-up services in New Zealand?

This is something we can arrange for you upon request.

Does AIPA provide accommodation and daily course-related transport?

We will help you find suitable accommodation near the school and will also advise on transportation options. If you prefer to drive to school yourself, we can assist in purchasing your first car in New Zealand and provide information on licence conversion.

2. Entry Requirements

Are there any prerequisites for course entry?

For our Diploma course, the Academy does not accept any students (domestic or international) less than 18 years of age. Students wishing to access student loan funding will require a minimum of NCEA Level 3 or equivalent or A pass in all PPL subjects gained over a period of not more than 42 days and will be required to pass an entrance assessment. More about entry requirements you can read in our Prospectus or in the Programme description.

Are there any mandatory subjects that must be completed in high school?

CAA NZ has no mandatory subjects or minimum score requirements. Studying Physics and Mathematics in High School is recommended.

English is not my first language, can I still learn to fly?

To hold a license in New Zealand you must be assessed to be proficient in speaking, reading and understanding English.  All international students are also required to meet IELTS level 6 or have four years of secondary schooling where instruction and all learning activities have taken place in English, and at least 14 Level 3 credits in an English-rich subject (English, History, Art, Geography, Biology, Classics, Art History, Journalism, Media Studies, Religious Studies, Physical Education).

Note: Your instructor will assess your English as you learn to fly and all pilots must pass a formal test before applying for their licence.

I wear glasses, will this be a problem?

You will need to meet minimum medical standards, but in most cases wearing glasses won’t be a problem. In fact, many airline pilots wear glasses. You can wear glasses or contact lenses so long as your vision is corrected to 20/30 or better. To obtain a NZ CAA Class 1 or 2 medical, you must visit an approved aviation medical examiner. They are listed on the CAA website at www.caa.govt.nz.

For any health issues, we recommend you consult an aviation medical examiner.

What are the Medical requirements for the New Zealand Diploma in Aviation course?

A NZ CAA Medical Certificate Class 1. You can apply for the course without a Class 1 Medical Certificate. If you are accepted onto the course your commencement of the course will depend on you gaining a Class 1. If you are an international student, you can apply and be accepted without a medical certificate also, again your course commencement will depend on whether or not you hold a class 1. Some countries have services that provide a NZ Class 1 Medical Certificate.

You can find this information on the CAA website; https://www.caa.govt.nz/script/directory-of-overseas-medical-examiners/ If you cannot gain a medical certificate in your home country you can wait until you arrive in NZ. If you get here and can’t obtain a medical certificate then you won’t be able to commence the course and you will have to go home. Immigration New Zealand is advised if this happens.

What is Fit and Proper Status and how could it affect me?

CAA requires you to hold fit and proper status at the time of your Licence issue and to continuously comply with this status. Students must provide an up-to-date Criminal Conviction Report showing a conviction-free period of at least three years prior to the date on which training will commence and no more than one conviction for drunk driving. Students must also provide an up-to-date Demerit Points and Suspension History Report (Traffic Offence History) showing a maximum of 75 demerit points within the three years immediately prior to the date on which training will commence.

For more information click: https://www.caa.govt.nz/forms/fpp_process.htm

Does AIPA accept students for enrolment who have previously trained elsewhere?

Yes, we have a good track record in successfully training transferees to the requisite standard. Transferring students are considered on a case-by-case basis dependent on a range of factors.

3. Pathways

Is a job guaranteed?

We will provide you with a high standard of training and the accompanying skills required for you to be employed in your chosen sector of aviation. We cannot guarantee you a job. As with any training, the ability to convert learned skills into employment is up to you, how you seek the opportunities and make the most of those presented to you.

While we cannot guarantee employment to students, suitable students who have completed the Flight Instructor Training are certainly considered when we are hiring. At present, the majority of our instructors were trained with AIPA.

The demand for well-trained and qualified pilots worldwide remains very high. Our graduates hold flying positions in many parts of the world and throughout New Zealand.

Is the New Zealand Pilot Licence recognised overseas?

The New Zealand CPL is well respected worldwide and “Kiwi” trained pilots are in demand by many airlines. The Licence meets the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards. In many cases a licence conversion will simply require passing the local flight rules examination, completing a flight test and obtaining a local medical for the type of licence you hold.

4. Financial

When should the fee be paid?

Students have 2 options to pay their fees upon receiving the Offer of place letter:

1. Students can pay the program fees into the Public Trust account. The Academy will provide students with the fee receipt as soon as their fees are received. The fee receipt needs to be attached to their student visa application.

2. Students can apply for their student visa without paying the fee. Once their visa is ‘Approved in Principle’ (AIP) students can pay the fees from the same source that was shown on their visa application. The Academy will send the fee receipt as soon as the funds are received into the Public Trust account.

Can a student pay in instalments?

Usually, Immigration NZ requires students to pay the 1st year fees in full. In this case, as the course is more than 12 months, the instalments can be considered as an exception.

How safe are the student’s fees?

New Zealand has an excellent system to protect the monies of international students. All fees paid by the students go directly to the Public Trust account, as required by NZQA (New Zealand Qualification Authority). The Academy provides students with a fortnightly / monthly account statement based on their progress. Students have to verify if the account statement is correct and sign on the account form (called the ‘milestone form’). This form is then sent to Public Trust, who will release the funds to the Academy.

In the event of the Academy closing down and being unable to deliver the program, students will have the option to withdraw all the unused funds from the Public Trust and return to their home country or transfer to another provider to continue their studies.

Never will a situation arise wherein the student loses his/her fee, similar to what happens in other countries.

Can the student withdraw from the program anytime?

Students can withdraw from the program anytime but will be charged for all the flying, theory classes and materials used in accordance with the refund policy. However, if a student withdraws before the start date of the programme he/she will be refunded the entire course fee, except the admin fee.

Are there any hidden costs that student needs to prepare for?

There are no hidden costs. Students are provided with a list of what is covered in the fees. But given that pilot training is a skill-acquiring program, learning styles vary from student to student. If a student fly’s additional hours on the aircraft or has failed a theory test, additional flying costs or re-sit fees would apply.

5. About Auckland

What is it like living in Auckland?

Auckland, often referred to as the “City of Sails,” offers a unique and vibrant lifestyle that marries urban living with the allure of nature.

Cosmopolitan City: Auckland is a cosmopolitan city boasting a rich blend of cultures. Its diverse population results in a lively culinary scene, with restaurants and cafes offering foods from around the world. The city is also home to a variety of arts and cultural festivals throughout the year.

Surrounded by Nature: Despite being New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes. From the city, it’s a short journey to numerous beaches, hiking trails, and parks. The city itself is dotted with green spaces, and the nearby Hauraki Gulf Islands provide further opportunities for exploration and adventure.

Marine Lifestyle: Auckland’s location on two harbours underscores a strong connection to the sea. Residents often partake in water-based activities such as sailing, swimming, and fishing. This affinity for the sea has earned Auckland the nickname “City of Sails.”

Education and Opportunities: As the economic powerhouse of New Zealand, Auckland offers diverse job opportunities in various sectors. The city is also home to some of the country’s top educational institutions, making it an excellent place for students and professionals alike.

Friendly and Safe: Auckland is known for its friendly residents and has a reputation as one of the safest cities in the world. The laid-back lifestyle coupled with the city’s safety make it a great place to live and study.

Living in Auckland offers a balanced lifestyle with its vibrant city life, cultural diversity, access to nature, and educational and professional opportunities. It’s a city where you can enjoy a morning hike in a rainforest, an afternoon sail in the harbour, and an evening at a world-class restaurant – all in one day!

What is close to the Academy?

Located close to Silverdale, Orewa, and the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, the Auckland International Pilot Academy provides easy access to a range of amenities and attractions.

Silverdale Centre: This is a major retail and commercial hub, offering a range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.

Orewa Beach: Orewa Beach, a beautiful stretch of white sand, is a popular spot for swimming, surfing, and sunbathing. The town itself has a range of cafes and restaurants.

Whangaparaoa Peninsula: The Whangaparaoa Peninsula offers stunning coastal scenery, beautiful beaches, and several nature reserves, perfect for hiking and birdwatching.

Snowplanet: This is New Zealand’s first and only all-year indoor snow resort where you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, irrespective of the season.

Wenderholm Regional Park: A short drive from Silverdale, this park features beautiful beaches, walking trails, and historic Couldrey House and Gardens.

Gulf Harbour: Located on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, Gulf Harbour is known for its marina, golf course, and ferry services to Auckland city and Tiritiri Matangi Island, a wildlife sanctuary.

Puhoi: Known for its historic charm, Puhoi offers attractions like the Puhoi Pub, the Puhoi Cheese Factory, and the Puhoi River Canoe Hire for a fun day out on the water.

Local Amenities: There are also various local amenities close to the Academy, such as supermarkets, healthcare services, and public transport options, which add to the convenience of living and studying in this area.

This region blends convenience with natural beauty, offering a range of activities and amenities close to the Academy while also providing an idyllic setting for flight training.

How hard is it to move around without a car in Auckland?

Auckland, like many major cities, has a public transportation system that provides options for getting around without a car. However, Auckland is also known for its urban sprawl, and depending on where you’re located, moving around the city without a car can range from easy to moderately challenging.

Considering the Auckland International Pilot Academy is based in the Silverdale area, the accessibility to different parts of Auckland may vary. Here are some key points to consider:

Public Transport: Public transport services are available in Silverdale, primarily in the form of buses. Auckland Transport (https://at.govt.nz/) operates a network of bus routes that can take you from Silverdale to various parts of Auckland.

Silverdale Bus Station: This is a major hub in the area, providing connections to the Hibiscus Coast, the North Shore, and Auckland’s city center. You can check the bus schedules and routes on the Auckland Transport website.

AT HOP Card: This prepaid card makes commuting easier and cheaper than buying individual tickets. More information can be found at https://at.govt.nz/bus-train-ferry/at-hop-card/.

Rideshare and Taxis: Services like Uber (https://www.uber.com/nz/en/) and Ola (https://www.olacabs.com/nz) operate in the Silverdale area and can be a convenient way to travel, especially for shorter distances.

Walking and Cycling: For local travel within Silverdale and surrounding areas, walking or cycling could be a practical solution, depending on the distance and weather conditions.

Inter-regional Travel: If you need to travel to central Auckland or other suburbs regularly, having access to a vehicle could be more convenient due to the distance and potentially limited public transport connections. Alternatively, the Northern Express bus service connects Silverdale to Auckland’s city centre.

In conclusion, while public transport and rideshare services can cover basic commuting needs in and around Silverdale, having access to a car might offer more flexibility and comfort, especially for longer commutes or trips outside regular service hours. Familiarising yourself with the public transport system and planning your travel in advance will help you navigate effectively.

Can a student drive in NZ with a foreign motor car licence?

Students can use their existing valid driving licence from their home country. This would be valid for a year from their first entry into New Zealand. More information can be found here.

We strongly suggest that students read the Road Code before they start driving in New Zealand.

What is there to do in Auckland?

Auckland is a place full of exciting things to do, balancing city life and natural beauty. It offers activities to suit a wide range of interests:

Sightseeing: Auckland’s skyline is dotted with impressive structures like the Sky Tower. The city is also home to a variety of cultural landmarks and museums that provide a deeper understanding of New Zealand’s history and culture.

Outdoor Activities: With its location amidst two harbours and numerous volcanic cones, Auckland provides a plethora of outdoor activities, including hiking, sailing, and swimming.

Exploring Islands: Auckland has a multitude of stunning islands just a short ferry ride away, perfect for day trips. These islands boast beautiful beaches, vineyards, and unique wildlife.

Shopping and Dining: Auckland offers a vibrant shopping scene with a mix of high-end brands, local crafts, and farmers markets. Its diverse culinary scene promises delightful food experiences, with everything from gourmet dining to food trucks.

Arts and Events: The city is a hub for arts and entertainment, housing numerous galleries showcasing local and international artists. Additionally, Auckland frequently hosts various music festivals, sports events, and cultural celebrations.

In essence, whether you’re a nature lover, a foodie, a history buff, or an art enthusiast, Auckland has a myriad of experiences to offer. The city’s rich cultural diversity and breathtaking natural landscapes make it an exciting place to explore.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have more questions