Air Transport Pilot – Bachelor of Aviation

Gain a professional qualification that integrates a research-led flight training programme into university courses at an internationally recognised training facility.

Where you can study

Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand
Note: Selected entry qualification.

Specialise in Air Transport Pilot for your Bachelor of Aviation at Massey

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

Turn your passion into a career

Massey is the only place in New Zealand where you can turn your passion for aviation into a university qualification. We are not only an internationally recognised pilot training facility but we also give you a broad knowledge of the global aviation industry.

We will also introduce you to the critical ‘soft’ skills required of a professional aviator such as:

  • decision-making
  • communication
  • workload management
  • conflict resolution.

State-of the art aircraft and equipment

You’ll learn to fly in our fleet of technically advanced Diamond single engine and twin engine aircraft equipped with full digital avionics. We also have a state-of-the-art flight Diamond DA-42 flight simulator. Its 220-degree wraparound screen can match any airport in the world. Massey University was the first pilot training facility in New Zealand to install this new-generation simulator.

Electronic flight bags

Electronic flight bags (EFBs) are now almost standard for every major international air carrier. As a new Bachelor of Aviation (ATP) student, you will be issued with an Apple iPad to be used as your EFB during your flight training.

A Bachelor of Aviation in Air Transport Pilot is a good fit if you:

  • have well-developed leadership qualities
  • enjoy mathematics and physics
  • want a degree - not just a ‘licence to fly’.

Planning information

All Bachelor of Aviation students undertake a full-time qualification. In your first year you will take twelve 15-credit courses, making a total of 180 credits.

All your courses in Year One and Year Two are compulsory.

Meeting requirements for industry membership

Becoming a pilot

To become a pilot you will need to complete this qualification, comprising a total of 480 credits as outlined on this page.

At the completion of 360 credits in this qualification, you will have met the requirements for the award of a New Zealand Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) with Multi-Engine and Instrument Rating, plus hold credits for all New Zealand Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) Theory examinations.

To gain your full APTL, you will also need to complete practical experience as outlined on the aviation.govt.nz website.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. You can go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Prerequisites
Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Corequisites
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Restrictions
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Part One

Choose 75 credits from
Course code: 190104 Principles of Navigation I 15 credits

An introduction to navigational principles and operational requirements for visual flight.

Prerequisites: Selected entry BAv ATP

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Course code: 190107 Human Performance 15 credits

The application of information processing strategies for improving performance in learning, problem-solving, decision-making, interpersonal interrelations, and an introduction to aviation medicine.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required Restrictions: 190117

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Course code: 190112 Introduction to Flying 15 credits

This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of flight radio, aviation law and principles of flight for pilots.

Prerequisites: Selected entry to BAv ATP

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Course code: 190113 Aviation Meteorology 1 15 credits

An introduction to aviation meteorology for pilots.

Prerequisites: Selected entry BAv ATP

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Course code: 190114 Aircraft Systems 1 15 credits

An Introduction to aircraft systems for pilots

Prerequisites: Selected entry BAv ATP

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Part Two

Choose 60 credits from
Course code: 190120 Aeronautical Legislation 15 credits

This course includes the integration of theory and practice for aviation regulations and law pertaining to Visual Flight Rules (VFR) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR).

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Course code: 190123 Aircraft Systems 2 15 credits

A study of aircraft systems for light aircraft and their performance management.

Prerequisites: 190114

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Course code: 190124 Aircraft Performance 15 credits

The study of aircraft performance management for single-engine aircraft, including propeller theory, and operational performance requirements.

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Course code: 190154 Principles of Navigation II 15 credits

An in-depth study of Air Navigation principles; and the construction, properties and usage of aeronautical charts.

Prerequisites: 190104, 190107, 190112

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Part Three

Choose 75 credits from
Course code: 190201 Aircraft Systems 3 15 credits

This course is an examination of advanced multi-engine aircraft systems, including structures of heavy aircraft.

Prerequisites: 190123

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Course code: 190203 Air Traffic Control/Aviation Law 15 credits

The integration of theory and practice for Flight Operations and Flight Standards. This course will enable pilots to use the operational procedures and facilities required by civil aviation and air traffic control organisations. Students will be introduced to international aviation systems, including the Covenants of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Prerequisites: 190120

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Course code: 190204 Flight Planning and Advanced Navigation (Part 1) 15 credits

First of two courses on the development of practical flight planning competencies including route planning, fuel planning, load planning and flight plan amending for instrument flight operations. The use of inflight navigation techniques, instrument flight management, and search are included.

Prerequisites: 190154

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Course code: 190205 Crew Resource Management 15 credits

The development of practical competencies in crew resource management (CRM) in the professional aviation environment.

Prerequisites: 190107 Restrictions: 190216

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Course code: 190206 Aerodynamics 1 15 credits

This course introduces principles of incompressible fluid statics and fluid dynamics, basic concepts of low and high speed aerodynamics, and lift theory.

Prerequisites: 190164 or (190118 and 190119)

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Part Four

Choose 75 credits from
Course code: 190221 Climatology 15 credits

A study of the global climate and of regional climates at the levels at which modern jet aircraft fly and at lower levels..

Prerequisites: 190121

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Course code: 190237 Heavy Aircraft Performance 15 credits

This course introduces modern air transport operations including cockpit technology and systems. The practicum for this course will demonstrate significant aspects of air transport operations.

Prerequisites: 190124

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Course code: 190254 Flight Planning and Advanced Navigation (Part 2) 15 credits

Second of two courses on the development of practical flight planning competencies, including route planning, fuel planning, load planning and flight plan amending for instrument flight operations, and for long distance heavy transport operations for B747 and B777 aircraft.

Prerequisites: 190204

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Course code: 190351 Aircraft Systems 4 15 credits

An in depth study of mechanical aircraft systems, as they apply to large aircraft.

Prerequisites: 190201

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Course code: 190356 Aerodynamics 2 15 credits

This course introduces principles of stability and control of aircraft, high speed aerodynamics, and methods for analysing aerodynamic properties of high speed aircraft.

Prerequisites: 190206

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Air Transport Pilot Subject Courses

Choose 30 credits from
Course code: 190121 Aviation Meteorology 2 15 credits

An examination of fundamental concepts and processes in meteorology and climate.

Prerequisites: 190113

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Course code: 190164 Aeroscience 15 credits

This course is an examination of the principles of mathematics, mechanics, and physic as they apply to aeroscience.

Prerequisites: Selected entry BAv ATP or PHOS

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Aviation Management Subject Courses

Choose 30 credits from
Course code: 190116 Introduction to Management in Aviation 15 credits

An overview of management concepts in the aviation industry.

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Course code: 190220 Managing Airline Systems 15 credits

An examination of the management of airline organisations.

Prerequisites: 190116

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Choose 15 credits from
Course code: 190308 Airport Operational Management 15 credits

An examination of the management of airport systems, such as air-side and land-side facilities, technical and support services which contribute to the operational effectiveness of modern airports. The course will further examine the relationship between airport authorities and the local community.

Prerequisites: Any 1902xx course

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Course code: 190313 Advanced Aviation Human Factors 15 credits

This course explores the role of human behaviour and physiological limitations in aviation, how they fit with complex systems, and how behaviour and systems may be modified to improve safety.

Prerequisites: 190205 or 190216

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Course code: 190314 Legal Issues in Aviation 15 credits

General principles of law as applied in the context of the airline transport industry. The course will focus on the application of law to flight crew, airline operations and civil aviation authorities in terms of both international conventions and treaties and of national legislation and law. Issues such as contractual and tortious liability will be considered.

Prerequisites: Any 1902xx course

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Course code: 190317 Evaluation Methods in Aviation 15 credits

The identification, development and analysis of tests and measures in aviation aptitude, achievement and licensing evaluation.

Prerequisites: 190217, 190225 or Part III ATP

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Course code: 190327 Managing Cultures in Aviation 15 credits

A critical evaluation of theory and practice of management of cultures in aviation, incorporating: (a) an exploration of theoretical and practical aspects of cultural diversity and its effect on aviation industry in the global business environment; and (b) an assessment and management of international, national, and organisational cultural dimensions and their shaping influence in various aspects of aviation operation.

Prerequisites: 190205 or 190216

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Course code: 190340 Contemporary Issues in Aviation Security 15 credits

This course explores aviation security with a particular emphasis on terrorism. Students explore key incidents, areas at risk, and the legislation and practical means by which risks are managed. The trade off between an erosion of civil liberties and increased security will be explored, as will the reasons why risks will always remain.

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Bachelor of Aviation Options

Option One: Flight Instruction (Aeroplane)

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 190282 Introduction to Flight Instruction 15 credits

A theoretical and practicum-based study of flight instructional and teaching skills required for employment as Flight Instructor.

Prerequisites: Selected entry to Flight Instructors Course

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Course code: 190285 Aerobatic Aircraft Handling 15 credits

The theory and practice of advanced aircraft handling techniques, aerobatics and advanced stalling and spinning.

Prerequisites: Selected entry to Flight Instructors Course

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Course code: 190288 Advanced Aircraft Handling 30 credits

This course covers the theory and practice of aircraft operations to an advanced level. The course’s emphasis is on the development of non-technical skills applicable to a pilot working in a multi-crew environment. The student will be introduced to safety management systems (SMS) and optimal decision making under normal, abnormal, and emergency phases of flight. The course bridges the gap between traditional General Aviation Operations and Air Transport Operations.

Prerequisites: 190205

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Course code: 190301 Flight Instructor Human Factors 15 credits

Theory and application of human factor issues in decision-making, interpersonal relations, communication styles and personality characteristics as they affect flight deck performance in the instructional environment.

Prerequisites: Appraisal Required

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Course code: 190315 Flight Instruction Fundamentals I 15 credits

Principles and techniques for theory, simulator and flight instruction for primary visual flight and day operations, including a review of aircraft performance management requirements. The course will incorporate the theoretical issues which underpin aviation science and aircraft systems.

Prerequisites: 190282

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Course code: 190335 Flight Instruction 30 credits

This integrated course includes the principles and techniques for theory, simulator and flight instruction.

Prerequisites: 190282

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Option Two Aviation: Business Management

120 credits of elective courses as approved by the Chief Executive Officer.
At least 60 credits including 190.288 must be selected from the 190 prefix Aviation and up to 60 credits may be selected from the following prefixes:
110 (Accountancy), 114 (Human Resource Management), 115 (Business), 125 (Finance), 152 (Management), 153 (Dispute Resolution), 155 (Business Law), 156 (Marketing), 157 (Information Systems), 178 (Economics), 219 (Business Communication), 295 (Business).
At least 30 credits must be at 300 level.

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

This programme is a selected entry qualification. This means there are a number of extra requirements you must meet.

To enter the Bachelor of Aviation, you must pass NCEA Level 3/Year 13 or equivalent in an ‘English-rich’ subject. These include one of the following:

  • classical studies
  • English
  • geography
  • history
  • history of art
  • media studies
  • religious education (RE)
  • business studies
  • biology
  • economics.

We highly recommend that you have passed Mathematics (Calculus) and Physics at NCEA Level 3/Year 13 or equivalent.

When you first apply online you need to:

  • provide a CV including academic and work history
  • have completed a trial flight
  • provide any information of circumstances in your past personal or professional life that might make you ineligible to train for, or hold, a professional pilots licence in New Zealand (see below for more information).

If you already have a NZCAA Class One Medical Certificate please also upload a copy with your application. But this is not essential for your initial application.

There are two more stages to the application process:

Stage One

You will take and pass an online ‘ADAPT’ test. See below for information.

Before Stage Two

Before you will be considered by selection board in Stage Two, you will have:

  • taken at least one trial (experience) flight
  • pre-booked your medical appointments (with both an approved medical examiner and optometrist) to gain the NZCAA Class One Medical Certificate for no later than one week after your selection board appointment.

Stage Two

Your application will be assessed, and you may then be invited to the ‘selection board’. This involves:

  • taking part in an panel interview
  • passing pilot aptitude assessments - including a flight simulator aptitude test , psychometric and physics tests
  • completing two writing tasks: English language competency tests (an essay and a vocabulary test) and a multi-choice maths / physics (‘aeroscience’ ) assessment.

Before you start

Once you are successful in gaining a place in the Bachelor of Aviation qualification you will also need to complete further tasks. These include:

  • passing an NZCAA class one medical certificate, or have booked a test
  • completing a 'Fit and Proper Person' assessment. This is to comply with the Civil Aviation Act 1990, Section 9. You must provide an up-to-date criminal convictions report and obtain an offence history report from Land Transport New Zealand, or from any other country resided in over the last five years.

Application closing date

Applications for a Semester One start close on 1 November 2021 for domestic students and 1 October 2021 for international students.

Applications for a Semester Two start close on 1 May 2022 for domestic students and 1 April 2022 for international students.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards. Where English is not your first language, you must have achieved an Academic IELTS of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, or equivalent.

ADAPT Test

As Massey is an Air NZ Preferred Flight Training Organisation all prospective candidates must complete the ‘ADAPT’ pilot pre-screening tool.

Candidates will receive a code to complete the ADAPT assessment three months prior to their Stage Two assessments. Payment for the assessment must be made in advance through the Massey University student portal. Please contact Sherryn Irvine at S.L.Irvine@massey.ac.nz for further details.

You are required to meet a satisfactory standard in this test in order to be invited to the next stage of the selection process.

Trial flights

If you are living in New Zealand, you are required to have taken at least one trial (experience) flight before your selection board appointment is confirmed. This is to give you an understanding of what it is like to fly in a small aircraft. Trial flights experiences can be flexible (eg taken at any New Zealand flight training organisation), with pilot friends, or at the annual Massey University Aviation Open Day.

Selection board

Selection boards are held twice a year:

  • early December immediately after NCEA examinations (for applicants wishing to commence in the following January)
  • the last week of May for applicants wishing to commence in July).

Once you apply for this qualification you will be advised of the exact date of your selection board appointment.

If you are invited to the selection board interview you must appear in person. This is held at the Massey University School of Aviation campus, 47 Airport Drive, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

NZCAA Class One Medical Certificate

You must obtain a NZCAA Class One Medical Certificate before being confirmed into the Bachelor of Aviation. If you do not already hold this, you must have pre-booked your medical appointments (with both an approved medical examiner and optometrist) for no later than one week after your selection board appointment.

Confirmation of medical appointment booking must be provided before your  selection appointment will be confirmed.

If you have a NZCAA Class One Medical Certificate please upload a copy with your application.

‘Fit and Proper Person’ (FPP) assessment

Are there any circumstances in your past personal or professional life that might make you ineligible to train for, or hold, a professional pilots licence in New Zealand?   If so, please provide a Ministry of Justice and / or a Ministry of Transport report. This information should be uploaded when submitting your application. This information will be confidential to those staff assessing your qualification.

Once enrolled in this qualification you will also be required to apply for a 'Fit and Proper Person' (FPP) assessment. This is to comply with the Civil Aviation Act 1990, Section 9. You must provide an up to date criminal convictions report and obtain an offence history report from Land Transport NZ, or from any other country resided in over the last five years.

You will be  required to declare any traffic or criminal offences at your selection board appointment. This will enable us to advise you  if there may be a barrier to your gaining the required FPP approval from the  NZ Civil Aviation Authority in future which will then prevent you from being able to continue your flight training programme.

During the programme the obligation continues

Once you are assessed as having FPP status it is your obligation to maintain this status. For example, if you gain a conviction for drunk driving (or other serious or serial offending)  that  breaches the 'Fit and Proper Person' criteria whilst on this programme, and you lose your FPP status,  your training will be unable to proceed.

Short or long term disability, including learning disability, or health issues

If any of the above apply to you, please upload a summary of what these are, how they are being managed and any support you believe you may need during your study/training. Your responses are confidential to University staff processing your application.

Application deadlines for the Air Transport Pilot qualification

 

January commencement

July commencement

 

Domestic students

International students

Domestic students

International students

Apply online

Due 1 November

Due 1 October

Due 1 May

Due 1 April

ADAPT test

Due 5 November

Due 5 October

Due 1 May

Due 1 April

Selection Board

Early December

Early November

Early June

Early May

NZCAA Class One Medical Certificate

Due start of January

Due start of July

University Entrance

Submit when exam results released ­– NCEA results published early January. ICE and IB results also released in January

Evidence of UE status must be submitted no later than 30 June

Orientation

Mid-January

Mid-July

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

If you need to do a course before you start your programme, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

A career as a pilot is exciting and highly sought-after.

The Bachelor of Aviation (Air Transport Pilot) opens up opportunities to become airline pilots or any other potential career within the aviation industry.

Many graduates work as flight instructors in New Zealand or Australia, enabling them to build on their instructional techniques expertise which is a valuable skill for those who eventually decide to take up a role as an Airline Training Captain.

You may wish to progress to key management or training positions for an airline or with international bodies such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) or the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Postgraduate study in aviation would be worth considering if you intend to follow this path.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings as your study will be in New Zealand.

Related study options