Getting Your Licence Recognised in New Zealand

Licence Conversions
For overseas visitors who hold any ICAO pilots licence you are able to convert you qualification directly to a New Zealand licence equivalent.

Commercial Licence Conversions: Working as a Pilot in New Zealand
To work as a pilot in New Zealand you will need to have arranged employment and have obtained a work visa.
Click here for information on immigration requirements.
Contact us directly for information on converting your CPL or ATPL.

A Flying Holiday
For overseas visitors who hold an ICAO licence it is possible for you to take a flying holiday in New Zealand. You can you fly yourself to any destination in New Zealand. To to do this you should convert your overseas licence to a New Zealand licence.  The conversion to a New Zealand licence is quite simple.

You will need to meet the experience requirements for a NZ licence and you will need to complete a Bi-annual Flight Review (BFR) with an instructor (see below).

New Zealand is a relatively easy place to navigate. It has an outstanding geography and is well provided with navigational facilities. Large areas of New Zealand airspace remain uncontrolled. There are IFR routes and radar information services provided between main centres and around larger populated areas.

Guided Flying Tours
For overseas pilots, Pacific Pilot Training has a number itineraries for experiencing New Zealand’s amazing mountain and coastal scenery – flying with an experienced instructor as a guide to amazing New Zealand destination such as Mount Cook and Milford Sound. So, whether you are licensed or not, or do not wish to go through the licence validation process you can still take a flying holiday. See an example of our tour options by downloading our Guided Tours brochure.

Conversion from overseas ICAO Licence to New Zealand PPL
The applicant must hold a current ICAO licence and medical and meet the minimum flight experience requirements for the issue of a New Zealand PPL. See the section on the Experience Requirements below.

The applicant must produce their logbook, licence and medical certificate at the time of applying for their New Zealand licence.

The applicant should then undergo a BFR (Biennial Flight Review) with an instructor from Pacific Pilot Training. The instructor will assess the candidate’s flight experience and ensure the candidate has the required flight experience for a New Zealand PPL. The instructor will also provide the candidate with a thorough briefing on New Zealand procedures and required aeronautical information. The logbook assessment, evidence of the BFR, and a copy of the candidates medical and licence is then sent to the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) along with the issue fee of $285. The CAA will send the licence directly to the candidate.

It will take about 5 working days for the licence to arrive.

Experience requirements: NZ Private Pilot Licence – Aeroplane

The Experience requirements are according to New Zealand Civil Aviation Rules (NZCARs), Part 61 and associated Advisory Circulars (ACs). These times are to include at least the minimum flight time requirements that follow:

Total flight experience requirement: 50 hours in aeroplanes

Dual instruction:  20 hours in aeroplanes – including 5 hours advanced dual instruction

Solo flight time:  15 hours in aeroplanes

Dual Terrain Awareness and Low Flying: 5 hours in aeroplanes

Dual instrument time:  5 hours in aeroplanes

Pilot cross-country navigation training: 10 hours in aeroplanes in accordance with the NZCAR Part 61 syllabus (5 hours dual/ 5 hours solo navex > 25nm from base)

Bi-annual Flight Review: Flight test Requirements

Below is a summary of the flight test requirements for the Biennial Flight Review (BFR) according to NZCAR Part 61 advisory circular:

Personal preparation: I’m Safe, current documents, privileges, currency, limitations
Aircraft documents: Knowledge of Certificate of Airworthiness, Tech log, POM
Weather, NZAIP and supplements: GA WX, TAF, METAR, NOTAMS, AIP, Go/No go
Aircraft performance and operating requirements: P Charts, group rating, performance calculations
Loading and Fuel management: required quantity, consumption, MAUW, C of G position, load distribution
Pre-flight inspection: interior, exterior, load security  
Emergency equipment: passenger supervision & briefing
Engine management: warm up shutdown checks, run and operation, checks, fire drills, smooth ops
ATS procedures: ATIS, clearances, phraseology, QNH   
Taxiing and brake check: speed, instruments, parking
Pre take-off checks: take-off briefing, departure procedures
Takeoff: Normal, Crosswind, Short field (max performance)
Engine failure techniques: During take-off (aborted), After take-off
Normal handling: Climbing: ± 5 knots, trim, T’s & P’s, Straight and level: ± 100’, ±5 degrees, trim
Medium turns: ± 100’, coordinated, reference point. Steep turns: ± 100’coordinated, power, reference point
Descent: ± 5 knots, trim, T’s & P’s. Lookout
Slow flight: ± 100’, ± 5 knots, balance, trim
Stalls in basic and power-on configurations: Basic, Power on configuration, Wing drop
Magnetic compass headings: maintains ± 5°, turning ± 10°
Forced landing without power: control, field, plan, checks  
Forced landing with power: control, configuration, field
Low flying in simulated poor visibility: ± 100’, ± 5 knots
Joining the circuit: checks, procedure, situational awareness
Approach and landing: Normal, Flapless, Cross-wind, Short field. Correct power and flap usage
Approach and go-around: procedure sequence
Radiotelephony: Tuning and procedures: phraseology
Lookout (critical task): situational awareness, VMC
Flight orientation: airspace boundaries, reporting points

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