Bachelor of Aviation

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Become part of a new generation of pilots

Learn how to fly in Massey’s state-of the art training fleet, while gaining a qualification that employers seek.

What is it like?

Massey's Bachelor of Aviation (Air Transport Pilot) is a university undergraduate qualification intended for career pilots. It will not just train you to be a competent pilot, but to become a ‘flight deck manager’ with a university education, and an in-depth understanding of the aviation industry.

Massey owns and operates a fleet of technically advanced Diamond single engine and twin engine aircraft equipped with full digital avionics approved for Performance Based Navigation operations.”

You’ll also get to learn in our state-of-the-art flight Diamond DA-42 flight simulator. With a 220-degree wraparound screen, it can be positioned at any airport in the world and the scenery outside will match the location. Massey University's School of Aviation was the first pilot training facility in New Zealand to install this new-generation simulator, worth nearly $700,000.

Turn your passion into a career

Massey University is the only place in New Zealand where you can turn your passion for aviation into a university qualification. We are an internationally-recognised pilot training facility, but we also give you a broad knowledge of the global aviation industry. We will introduce you to the critical ‘soft’ skills required of a professional aviator such as:

  • Decision-making
  • Communication
  • Workload management
  • Conflict resolution

These will expand the range of careers open to you in the aviation industry.

Skills that employers seek

A career as a pilot is exciting and highly sought-after. Our aviation degree will give you a point of difference - an in-depth understanding of the industry, and an internationally-recognised qualification. We will teach you the skills that employers seek.

In addition to the scenario-based flight training methodology, a special feature of the flight training programme is multi-crew training. This is designed to prepare you for functioning as flight crew members in air carrier operations. The Airline Bridging Course module at the end of the flight training phase is unique to the Bachelor of Aviation programme.

Electronic flight bags

Electronic flight bags (EFBs) are now almost standard for every major international air carrier. Previously pilots needed to have comprehensive documentation for each flight, carried in the physical EFB. This has now mostly moved to a digital format. As a new Bachelor of Aviation (ATP) student you will be issued with an Apple iPad to be used as your EFB for the duration of your flight training practicum period.

Industry mentor

Finally your cohort (group studying in the same year as you) will be assigned an experienced aviation industry mentor to help guide you through the course and to give you the benefit of their industry experience and knowledge.


This programme is ISO-9001-2015 certified and holds the unique distinction of holding an Equivalence Approval from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority. This means if you obtain your professional pilot's licence through Massey School of Aviation you can (if selected by Air NZ) enrol in the Air New Zealand "Airline Induction Course"- successful completion of which will place you in a "pool" of preferred pilots for induction by Air New Zealand.

It has ISO 9001-2015 certification and holds an Equivalence Approval from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority. That means your examination results are accepted in lieu of CAA examinations, and flight examiners from the School are approved for conducting flight tests for issue of licences.

Internationally-recognised qualification

Your qualification is internationally-recognised, and accredited by the key New Zealand aviation authorities.

Massey University's Bachelor of Aviation was the first non-engineering degree to be recognised by the Royal Aeronautical Society (1998) and Massey was the first New Zealand training organisation to meet all of the requirements for Civil Aviation Authority Rule Part 141 certification. When studying for the Bachelor of Aviation, professional pilot licensing requirements of the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand are integrated into your degree’s courses. Therefore upon graduation you’ll be issued with a commercial pilot’s licence and multi-engine instrument ratings. In addition you will have gained the theory credits towards your NZ ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot Licence).

Massey Business School is ranked in the top 2% of business schools globally.

Massey University’s business and management studies also rank in the top 250 (by QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) rankings). We are also ranked in the top 150 universities worldwide for business administration programmes by the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

A good fit if you:

  • Love the idea of flying for a living
  • Enjoy mathematics and physics
  • Keep your cool in stressful situations
  • Have leadership skills.
  • Want to have a profession - not just a ‘job’
  • Want a degree - not just a ‘licence to fly’
Charlotte Fuller
Bachelor of Aviation (Air Transport Pilot)
Graduated in 2016
Pilot - Air Chathams

“Massey has also obviously been a big contributing factor in the opportunities I have had. The wide variety of papers that are on offer really give you a broad understanding of the aviation industry as a whole and I would not have wanted to study anywhere else!”…”

Once I finished at Massey I didn’t really have any idea of where to next. I managed to get a summer job working for Air Chathams, working in their main office on Chatham Island. This involved answering phones, making reservations and also sorting freight. It was only supposed to be for a few months, just to get some experience in the aviation industry, while I figured out a plan for the rest of the year.

As the summer came to an end however, I was told that if I stayed, there would be an opportunity at the end of the year to secure a job as a pilot, flying the Cessna 206. Of course I would have been silly not to stay! As you know, the industry can be quite tough to break into, and I still hadn’t quite figured out what I would do if I moved back home to Taupo, so for me this was completely worth the wait!

Some words of wisdom… Always be positive and don’t be afraid of a bit of hard work! Getting your first job as a pilot is definitely not easy. There are plenty of pilots out there with the exact same qualifications as yourself. What really sets you apart (besides the degree), and what has certainly been a big factor for me, is willingness to do anything and everything while maintaining a good attitude. Throughout my time so far at Air Chathams, I have put my hand up and jumped at any opportunity that has come my way (even though it does not necessarily involve flying a plane). I am now a fully fledged member of the Air Chathams flight crew, doing exactly as I had stated in the previous email (flying the C206).

I am even happier to say that I have officially begun my training as a first officer on the CV580. A huge step up from flying the C206! A little six seater to a big 50 seater! I will be finished with my training early next year and will be still based on the Chatham Islands mainly operating between Chatham Island and Auckland/Wellington/Christchurch with also the occasional charter and night freight. Massey has also obviously been a big contributing factor in the opportunities I have had. The wide variety of papers that are on offer really give you a broad understanding of the aviation industry as a whole and I would not have wanted to study anywhere else!


If you study the Bachelor of Aviation (Air Transport Pilot), your preferred career will no doubt be as a pilot. Gaining this degree will also open other doors for other potential careers within the aviation industry.

At a later stage you may wish to progress to key management or training positions within an airline or with international bodies such as International Air Transport Association (IATA) or the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). At this stage postgraduate study would be useful.

  • Flying for national and international carriers
  • Continuing with postgraduate study in aviation management.

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