Aircrew Australia is a private agency arranging supervised placement of PNG, South Pacific and Asian students in Australian aviation schools for vocationally-focused non-award commercial pilot and flight attendant programs. “Non-award” means no academic or training qualification is earned, and the main purpose of the program is to obtain the Australian commercial pilot's licence or flight attendant accreditation in order to seek employment in the home country aviation industry. Coming to Australia for training programs that are less than 3 months in duration and not-for-award is permitted on a short-term visitor visa (tourist visa) and does not require a student visa.

The principal of Aircrew Australia is Aaron Hayes, a respected Australian teacher, psychologist, careers counsellor and education consultant who lived and worked in Papua New Guinea and other South Pacific locations for many years and understands the hopes and dreams of young people from these countries plus the concerns of their parents and sponsors that students need to be well looked after and supervised when overseas. Aaron is based in Cairns and will personally welcome, support and supervise all trainees through their period of training.

Aircrew Australia is represented in PNG and some other countries by local agents who are responsible for conducting interviews, liaising with sponsors, organizing passports and travel and conducting pre-departure briefings. However Aaron himself conducts the final selection of applicants, to ensure there is no local favoritism when offering places in the program.

Our pilot training involves three stand-alone blocks of three months each: the first two blocks at Mareeba aerodrome near Cairns and the last block at Townsville Airport. Flight attendant training takes place in Brisbane over one x three month block.

For each trainee we provide pre-departure briefings at home, welcome and orientation programs on arrival in Australia, accommodation and weekly allowance during the training, all air travel and ground transport, pastoral care and strict supervision while in Australia, passport and visa assistance, aviation security passes, various licenses, medical insurance and suitable clothing.

Actually we are the only agency offering such a complete all-inclusive and specially designed package for training of overseas aircrew in Australia. Our selection of suitable aviation schools and our accelerated intensive, comprehensive and supportive approach to aviation vocational training is unique.

Flight training is expensive and there are only a few spaces available in cadet training schemes operated by airlines. Most intending pilots and flight attendants from South Pacific countries have to either fund their own training with their families and many, many fundraising activities, or otherwise seek corporate, government or donor sponsorship.

Fortunately generous sponsorship is sometimes available from politicians, local and provincial governments, statutory bodies, non-government organisations, private companies and philanthropists (private donors) that support the aviation industry.

If your application for our pilot training or flight attendant training program is successful we will actively assist you to find a sponsor to pay for your complete training package although we do not guarantee that you will be successful in securing a sponsor. All sponsors have limited funds available so there will never be enough sponsors for all selected applicants.

However sponsors do favour Aircrew Australia programs more than other aviation training schemes because we make everything very easy for them. Sponsors are busy people and while they may be willing to pay for your training costs they do not have the time to be making separate arrangements and separate payments for your training, travel, accommodation, living expenses etc. But our programs include everything in one package - even your weekly bus fares and pocket money - so all the sponsor has to do is write one single cheque and we take care of the lot. We keep sponsors informed of the progress of each trainee and we allow payment step-by-step which makes it easier on the sponsor’s budget and gives the sponsor the option to discontinue funding if the trainee is not performing. We even pay for each pilot sponsor to come to Mareeba to observe the training program and take a sightseeing flight with their sponsored pilot.


Due to the high cost of aviation training we do not want to waste sponsors money so we only select applicants and recommend them to sponsors if we believe they have the aptitude and commitment to cope with our accelerated training program (ie hard work 6 days a week with no fooling around) so that we won't have trainees dropping out or costing their sponsors extra money to repeat classes and training sessions to re-sit for exams and skills tests they have failed.

If you are offered a place in our program and you are able to secure a sponsor, we will expect you to be prepared to make some changes to your lifestyle and adopt some new "aviation-friendly" habits in order to succeed in the training and be best positioned for a successful career as an airline pilot or cabin crew.

Your new way of life as an aviation trainee will require:

  • Adjusting to the aviation sleep cycle: early to bed, early to rise
  • Being prepared to work hard with long hours, six days a week
  • Refraining from alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and partying
  • Getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet
  • Becoming more methodical, precise and diligent in the way you do everything
  • Developing more mature and professional ways of speaking and behaving: good manners, common courtesy and customer service orientation

In fact we ask all trainees to sign a contract to abide by sensible guidelines during each block of training especially no alcohol or drugs, no partying and no nights away from the training base.