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School of Aviation’s year off to a flying start


Kyra Craine and Tom Atherton enjoy their chance to sit in the cockpit of a Diamond DA40.


Massey University’s School of Aviation opened its doors this week to welcome its newest cohort of eager Bachelor of Aviation students from across the country.

The school received over 60 applications for the first semester of 2021, but after a robust selection process 31 students were selected, the average number for a first semester intake despite COVID-19 affecting the aviation industry.

Chief Executive Officer of the School Ashok Poduval says it is basically business as usual for the School of Aviation despite the current COVID-19 climate affecting the aviation industry and international travel.

Students were joined by their families and friends to meet with staff from the school for a tour of the Aviation Centre and to go through the induction process on January 27.

Mr. Poduval says students who are passionate about the industry believe that aviation will have recovered sufficiently by the time they graduate, a view he also maintains.

“Aviation has suffered several boom-bust cycles in the past and bounced back on each occasion. It would be reasonable to assume that this time will be no different. Governments are very conscious of the fact that aviation is the lubricant for the wheels of the global economy. Across the world, they are investing considerable funds and introducing various innovative protocols designed to facilitate the re-opening of international borders.”

During the orientation welcome, the students were addressed by the Mr. Poduval along with Director Professional Programmes Frank Sharp and other key aviation staff including several aviation graduates who now work with the School as academics or flight instructors.

 They emphasised the value of a degree and how it would offer the students much more than just the opportunity to fly an aircraft.

“Some day when you have been an airline captain for several years, and you want to move into a management role or up the corporate ladder, a university degree will enhance your chances,” Mr. Poduval says.

He says the School has also had a significant uptake in the Master of Aviation programme, possibly because people already working in the industry may now have the time and the inclination to obtain a tertiary qualification due to the downturn caused by COVID-19.

“Covid has demonstrated that having a tertiary qualification adds more to a CV than just a professional license or a vocational qualification. If you have a tertiary qualification, and you lose the ability to continue in your original profession due to an unplanned usage, a university degree, like the Bachelor of Aviation, will stand you in good stead.”

The Bachelor of Aviation Air Transport Pilot (BAv) degree comprises 480 credits delivered in three years through compressed teaching. Graduates walk away with a university degree, professional aviation licenses and all theory credits required for the issue of an Airline Transport Pilot’s License.

Mr Poduval says interest in the second semester July 2021 intake for the BAv programme intake is high, and several enquiries are already being received for the first semester of 2022. People can register their interest via the Massey website

Family and friends joined the new cohort during the orientation to meet with staff from the school for a tour of the Aviation Centre.

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