Grab the yoke
with Mainland Air

Cessna cockpitScroll down icon
Pitch Down
Mountain view from Roy's Peak

Why learn to fly with us?

Have a great time

Travel New Zealand
Aerial photo of Alexandra in winter
Be a part of our family
Mainland students lined up in front of the hangar
Passionate instructors
Make new friends
3 Mainland Air students in front of a Cessna

Become a fantastic pilot

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Master the weather

Dunedin experiences its fair share of every type of weather. That means you will gain valuable experience adapting to changeable conditions.

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International Airport

Mainland Air is based at Dunedin International Airport. That means right from the start you'll be interacting with a control tower and an operating airport.

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Industry Experience

All of our instructors fly for our charter division so they have real working experiences to share with you.

The aviation industry will want you

Air New Zealand Logo

Air New Zealand

Many of our graduates work for Air New Zealand. Training with our Piper Chieftains puts you in a favourable position to fly Q300s for Air NZ.

Indian airline logos: Air India, IndiGo and SpiceJet

Indian Airlines

Many of our graduates from India are quickly snapped up by the likes of Air India, IndiGO and SpiceJet. These airline's preferred planes are Cessnas and we have plenty of those!

Assortment of airline logos: Cathay Pacific, Emirates and China Southern

Other Big Airlines

The excellent training and breadth of experience that you will receive at Mainland Aviation College has landed graduates in their dream airlines worldwide.

Pilots trained in NZ in demand

Otago Daily Times - 10/02/2020

Mainland Aviation College continues to produce talented pilots every year, helping meet a forecast shortage of more than 250,000 people to fly planes in the Asia-Pacific region.

Read the full article

A Shortage of Pilots Looms...

Bloomberg - 21/09/2021

After being thrust into crisis by the coronavirus, the aviation industry faces yet more trouble as the world emerges from the worst of the pandemic to find there’s now likely to be a shortage of pilots after thousands were laid off or decided to retire.

Read the full article

See the beauty of New Zealand


Learn your way around town from the air!

Cessna 152 flying over the Otago Peninsula

Mount Cook

The highest point in New Zealand, Aoraki, cloud-piercer.

Aoraki Mt Cook across lake Pukaki

Milford Sound

One of New Zealand's tourist hotspots, gorgeous.

Milford Sound with Mitre Peak in the background across the sound


It's the place to be, the sights, the energy, the adventure.

Queenstown from the skyline luge

Stewart Island

The lesser-known third largest island in New Zealand.

A bush walk on Stewart Island


Giant waterfalls, towering cliffs, snow-capped peaks, wow.

View of a sound in Fiordland taken from the bush up a mountain

Never wait for a plane

Cessna 152 on tarmac

Cessna 152

These are reliable and fun planes for beginners all the way up to advanced pilots.

Parked Cessna 172

Cessna 172

The most successful aircraft in history, the Cessna 172 is extremely reliable and enjoyable to fly.

Tecnam inside the Mainland hangar

Tecnam P2006T

The perfect plane for getting used to the dynamics of dual-engine flight.

Didn't catch all of that?

Watch this fun promotional video we made back in 2016. It should still give you some valuable information!

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All you have to do now is pick a course!

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Looking for a specific course?

Instrument Rating (IR)

The Instrument Rating (IR) is an additional rating to the license (PPL or CPL) and entitles the holder to fly an aircraft under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). The privileges of an IR rating holder include flying aircraft under IFR with a minimum decision altitude of 200 feet (60 m).

Learn More

Category C Instructor Rating (C-Cat)

This course is the most common method of initial employment to enable students to consolidate their knowledge and increase their flight experience to levels required by the airline industry.

Learn More

Commercial Pilot's Licence (CPL)

A CPL is the basic licence required before you can apply for flying jobs, although there are further qualifications that you will need for most commercial work.

Learn More

Additional Training

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RNAV/GPS, ILS, ADF, VOR, Night Flying, Aerobatics, Tail-wheel, C-Cat & Instrument Renewals.

De Havilland Aircraft

Philip was involved with the inception of Croydon Aircraft Company. He was Chief Pilot, and currently still holds his Check & Training and QA roles. Access available on request.

High performance Type Ratings

RNP/RNAV  approved Piper Chieftain's & Seneca's.

Terrain Awareness

Philip has over 40 years experience flying in Southern New Zealand. You will gain invaluable knowledge and appreciation of mountainous terrain. Most of the syllabus (PPL/CPL) is covered in the Fiordland region, specifically Milford Sound


Where feasible, BFR's & Renewals can be completed in a location more suitable to the candidate

Experienced In-house Flight Examiners

Philip Kean & John Penno (A-Cat)


For those who want the rush and want to better their motor skills, whilst understanding how to fully master aerobatics.

International Students

Interested in flight training at Mainland Air but live overseas? We have an amazing international students program just for you! Get more information from the button below.

Learn More
Mainland students lined up outside of the hangar
Trial flight vouchers

Not sure if flying is for you? Give it a go first!

Cessna 152

  • 2-Seater
    (you & instructor)
  • Experience of a lifetime
  • Great fun
Cessna 152 in flight
20 Min
30 Min

Cessna 172

  • 4-Seater
    (you, instructor &
    two friends or family)
  • Show-off your skills!
Cessna 172 in flight
20 Min
30 Min
Book a Flight