This year, in partnership with John Murrie of the Massey University School of Aviation, NZALPA surveyed individuals who completed fixed wing flight training to Commercial Pilot’s Licence (CPL) standard 2000-2018.  The focus of the survey was on identifying the motivations and interests of individuals pursuing a career as commercial pilots, the information they used to make decisions about their training and career, and training experiences and costs.  In particular, the survey examined individuals’ employment history within the aviation industry, seeking to build a more detailed picture of the steps pilots take and the pitfalls they encounter in pursuit of an aviation career. 

In collecting this data, NZALPA hoped to gain a better understanding of current career pathways for commercial pilots, funding and training options, and especially employment opportunities for graduates and low-hour pilots. It is argued that this will assist NZALPA and the industry in developing a more seamless and affordable career pathway for commercial pilots from school to the airline cockpit, one that ensures the right candidates achieve genuinely positive outcomes.  The information gathered by the survey should also be of interest to aviation industry stakeholders, individuals currently pursuing a career as commercial pilots and those considering doing so in the future.  John Murrie’s involvement forms part of his doctoral (PhD) studies at Massey University. 

The “Pilot Career Progression Survey” was distributed via social media and email to NZALPA members, former students of New Zealand-based flight training organisations and other organisations in New Zealand in July 2018. The anonymous survey, which did not collect identifying or personal information, consisted of 72 questions covering basic demographic information, participants’ history and experiences of flight training, employment history and perceptions of the career pathway for fixed wing commercial pilots.  The target population was the 3,328 New Zealand citizens or permanent residents who had been issued with a fixed wing New Zealand CPL 2000-2017; this included individuals living in New Zealand and overseas. 

To view the report on the results of this survey click here.