Massey soars to win prestigious aviation awards


Chief flight instructor Craig Whyte receives his award at the Director of Civil Aviation Awards.


Massey University’s School of Aviation has been recognised for its contribution to aviation safety with two awards at the annual Director of Civil Aviation Awards. The school was awarded the Director’s Award and chief flight instructor Craig Whyte received the Flight Instructor Award. 

Each year the awards are presented to individuals and organisations with an exemplary safety ethos. Mr Whyte was recognised for his decade in the role of chief flight instructor at the School of Aviation, a period that included the replacement of the school’s Piper aircraft with a fleet of technologically-advanced Diamond aircraft.

As a result of the change in technology, Mr Whyte was responsible for changing the training methodology and helped to develop the school’s innovative scenario-based training syllabus. School of Aviation chief executive Ashok Poduval said the school’s training methods are unique and Mr Whyte had made a large contribution to its success.

“Our students do not just practice manoeuvres, we train them using real-life, scripted scenarios so they can relate the skills they have learned to operational situations,” he said.

Mr Whyte was also recognised for his technical flying skills, highly respected instructional technique and his planning and concern for staff and students. His hard work and leadership, the judges found, ensures the School of Aviation maintains a high level of professionalism and safety at all times.

School of Aviation chief executive Ashok Poduval receives the Director of Civil Aviation Award for an Organisation.


Thirty years of producing top aviators

The Director's Award for an Organisation recognised the school’s 30-year history of producing aviators with solid academic knowledge and technical skills. Its contribution to the industry has not only been through the Bachelor of Aviation, Air Transport Pilot qualification, which is a globally-recognised degree programme, but also through its research, including at doctoral level.

The judges noted the school operates a transparent level of governance, compliance and accountability that is well ahead of current Civil Aviation Authority requirement and its graduates are found throughout the aviation industry, in New Zealand and overseas. 

“Its unique profile, outstanding performance and significant contribution to aviation education and training make Massey University School of Aviation a worthy recipient of the Director’s Award for an organisation,” said the award citation.

Mr Poduval said he was pleased to receive the award on behalf of the School.

“It is an honour for the Massey University School of Aviation to receive such recognition from the Director of Civil Aviation. I would like to express my appreciation to every member of the school, without whose individual and collective contributions we could not have received this accolade.”  

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