Business South April 2022

96 | Taking to the skies: Nelson Aviation College trains around 65 students annually. AVIATION Nelson Aviation College Nelson Aviation College (NAC) is proud to have established and maintained a reputation as one of New Zealand’s leading flight training organisations, currently achieving pass rates 14% higher than the national average across all theory subjects at all levels, due to the quality of training delivery. NAC is one of just four aviation private training establishments in the country to be awarded Air New Zealand Preferred Flight Training Organisation status. Founded as a small family business by Walter Wagtendonk in 1978, a much respected and revered figure in aviation, NAC has gone from strength to strength with just four owners over its 42-year history. Passionate aviators and instructors Giles and Katrina Witney have owned NAC for the past eleven years and have a proud history of continuous improvement, adopting future proof technology and delivering ‘beyond the standard’. The purchase of three new Cessna 172 aircraft with Garmin NXi technology and a 737-800 simulator in 2018 took this ethos to another level. A 2021 NZQA Education Evaluation Review report awarded NAC Excellent ratings in all areas of evaluation. “We offer Level 6 NZ Diploma in Aviation qualifications in both Airline Preparation and Flight Instruction and the Level 5 NZ Diploma in General Aviation,” says Giles. “Ab-initio training from Private Pilot Licence through to course completion takes two years and during this time students will obtain a Private and Commercial Pilot Licence, Multi Engine Instrument Rating and either Airline Transport Licence Theory or an Instructor Rating qualification. We’re also approved by the Tertiary Education Commission to provide student loans.” After securing the contract with Air New Zealand in 2012, NAC became the only aviation provider to deliver the Air New Zealand Airline Integration Course included in the NZ Diploma in Aviation Airline Preparation programme. Aviation training ‘beyond the standard’ Richard Loader NAC’s main campus in Motueka offers Private and Commercial Pilot Licence training, while the base at Nelson Airport provides a busy provincial airport environment for Multi Engine Instrument Rating training and delivery of the Air New Zealand Airline Integration course with the 737-800 jet simulator. Around 65 students are trained annually and Giles says over the last two years NAC has been fortunate to have a predominantly domestic student base and were able to continue business with minimal impact and little change to student numbers. “It’s only now in 2022 we’re seeing enrolment numbers affected by the impacts of COVID-19 on the aviation training industry. We anticipate this will pick up again during the second half of the year and certainly by next year, especially with New Zealand’s borders opening up again progressively from March. We aim to be the provider of choice and most business results from word of mouth. We foster a family-friendly, supportive learning environment with a low instructor to student ratio of 1:4. We’re geographically located in the best training grounds in the country both for weather conditions and varied terrain, all within close proximity. Our staff are highly qualified and respected professionals.” While NAC’s students come from all over the country, Aucklanders in particular have been attracted to the quality of training offered, with local top of the south students increasingly realising what’s available on their back doorstep. NAC is a boutique flight training college providing individual, custom-tailored pilot training to those who want a more personalised experience. Everything we do is based on our core purpose of making dreams a reality. This is underpinned by our values of safety and professionalism, with a focus on ‘Training Beyond the Standard’. Proudly supporting Nelson Aviation College 03 528 9071 29 King Edward St, Motueka ∙ SHADE SAILS ∙ AWNINGS ∙ AIRCRAFT COVERS ∙ MARINE ∙ BAGS ∙ UTE, TRUCK & TRAILER COVERS ∙ TENTS 78 High Street, Motueka 03 528 4640