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Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)

A Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) is the next step up from a Private Pilot Licence (PPL).

With this licence you gain a significant amount more flying experience and it also means that you can fly for hire or reward. You need to be at least 18 years old to hold a CPL.

LearntoFly NZ offers a unique programme in that unlike other training organisations in the South Island we are based within the mountains. In less than half an hour's flying time it is possible to experience both coastal flying, (the West Coast is only 50 miles to the West of Wanaka), with the true mountain flying in the Southern Alps along the way.

Once airborne from Wanaka, you can be experiencing mountain flying and will quickly become accustomed to the characteristics of the surrounding terrain. The variety of flying in the region and the diverse opportunities you will experience are completely unique.

You won't have any of the delays encountered in controlled airspace at major centres. However with International airports such as Queenstown, Dunedin and Christchurch within a short distance you will be taught the skills required to fly in a busy controlled environment.


CPL requires a NZCAA Class 1 medical certification. This is a step up from a Class 2 medical. You need to see an eye specialist plus have an ECG done to monitor your heart rate. We can assist in finding a Doctor near you who will conduct this examination; the Doctor will then refer you to Specialists in your area to complete the medical.


In addition to the PPL syllabus, your standards of flying are expected to be of a higher standard to carry out these manoeuvres. There are 3 additional flying exercises to perform including the cross country syllabus to reach the CPL qualification and Learntoflynz can guide you through this challenging and rewarding level of piloting.


The hours that you flew for your PPL count towards your total flight time. To gain a CPL you need a minimum of 200 hours Total Flight Time which is divided into the following:

  • 100 hours Solo Flight Time - this includes the time you use for cross-countries when you are pilot in command (without an instructor)

  • 30 hours Cross-Country Navigation Flight Time - planned cross-countries to destinations of a set distance from the aerodrome of departure and with a minimum number of take off and landings.

  • 10 hours Instrument Flight Time - your time used from your PPL may be cross-credited to make it less than 10 hours under the hood.

  • Complete a CPL Cross Country Flight Test


For your CPL there are 6 similar subjects to sit. They are at a higher level than PPL. These subjects are:

  • Human Factors

  • Meteorology

  • Air Technical Knowledge

  • Navigation

  • Principles of Flight

  • Law

Like the PPL exams these are mainly multi-choice with the pass mark of 70%.

Diploma in Aviation - Aeroplane

In collaboration with our sister company Wanaka Helicopters, we are now offering the Diploma in Aviation - Aeroplane. We have teamed up to provide unparalleled Southern Alps flight training options for budding pilots who want the best training options in NZ. Enquire about our 2024 intake now or learn more below.

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