Commercial Airline Pilot Training Academy Set to Take Off

11/07/2018 12:00 a.m.

​​​​​​Oamaru airport terminal

The New Zealand Airline Academy is coming to Oamaru in the Waitaki district of Otago. The Academy has signed a lease with the Waitaki District Council allowing the commercial airline pilot training academy to commence operations at Oamaru Airport.

The Commercial Pilot Licence Training Scheme has been approved by NZQA through the National Trade Academy “NTA” - a Registered Private Training Establishment based in Christchurch. NTA have subcontracted The New Zealand Airline Academy to deliver the training with an expected initial intake of approximately 20 trainee pilots. They will complete around 4,000 flights over the first 10-12 month period. The Academy will also use a flight simulator for additional training that could, in time, be used by commercial airlines needing flight simulator time.

Ultimately, it is expected that the Academy will employ 10 staff locally, and will have 30 to 50 commercial pilot trainees within a 2-3-year period. 

Mayor Gary Kircher says initial discussions with NTA and the NZ Airline Academy gave Council a good steer of how the business could successfully operate in Oamaru and further negotiations have resulted in the Academy recognising the commercial viability of the venture.

“We’re very pleased to see NTA and the NZ Airline Academy choose the Waitaki District,” says Mayor Kircher. “This training facility is brand new and its directors see our district as the best place to kick-start their operation. As there’ll be a significant number of trainees and staff living and learning here, this is a win-win for everyone. The school will be a significant economic boost for Waitaki.” 

Mayor Kircher also acknowledged the huge effort that staff had made to secure the academy in the district. “I wish to pay tribute to our CEO and key staff throughout the organisation, especially the property team. They are responsible for the excellent work that attracted the airline academy to Waitaki, winning over the new company with a can-do attitude. This is a strategically important addition which could lead to even greater opportunities.”

Chief Executive Fergus Power says that in addition to the investment of around $66,000 by each trainee commercial pilot in their training course, it is estimated that each student will contribute a further $20,000 to the economy in the time they’re living in the district (10-12 months). “Clearly, this was a tremendous opportunity for our community and we pursued it. Deep attention to the needs of the incoming business meant that they came to the conclusion that the Waitaki district was the best district in New Zealand for them to commence their operation”, he said. Mayor Gary Kircher congratulated NZAA on their vision and said that he looked forward to seeing their enterprise steadily grow over the next few years.

NTA Managing Director Craig Musson said that he looked forward to working with “NZAA” and the Waitaki District Council to grow International Education in Oamaru and to diversify the company’s delivery of programmes internationally.

Directors of NZAAL are very pleased with the support they have received from the Mayor, CEO and staff of Waitaki District Council and the people of Oamaru. They are starting operations this month and would be happy for people to drop by and cheer them along.

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Page reviewed: 11 Jul 2018 1:04pm