Soar Aviation Students

A compassionate offer for Soar Aviation Students.

We are deeply sorry to hear that many of you are now in a situation where you have been let down by an unethical flight training provider and an institution that should have known better. We understand that for many of you, this has resulted in you not achieving the goals you have set out to achieve and also being out of pocket financially, with possibly little to show for your hard work and the financial burden incurred. Unfortunately, in our 30 years of operation we have seen this happen repeatedly, and more so with colleges that offer flight training through the VET FEE-HELP system, providing training at high-cost, poor course delivery, low safety levels and poor training standards. For aviation professionals such as Australian International Aviation College, it saddens us to no end when we see what has happened to you numerous times, from institutions that you placed your trust and dreams in. It is equally saddening of the damage that this does to a great industry such as aviation and to the many ethical, trustworthy, and compliant flight training providers that operate in Australia.

We understand that by going through the terrible experience that you have endured, you may have lost your hope in achieving your goals and dreams, and your faith that there are flight training providers out there that are not going to rip you off. This is completely understandable. And to endure a year such as 2020 with the COVID-19 situation, and the impact on commercial aviation, one couldn’t be blamed for thinking what hope is there!

We would like to offer our help to any SOAR aviation student who would like to get their aviation training back on track, therefore the remainder of this webpage will focus on positives and outline to you who we are, where we are, and what we can do to help you.

Who are we:

Australian International Aviation College (AIAC) is a CASA Part 142 Flight Training Organisation (FTO). We are located at Port Macquarie on the mid-north coast of NSW, halfway between Sydney and Brisbane. We have been established for thirty years and have developed a reputation as one of Australia’s leading and most trusted FTO’s. We have always specialized in professional flight training, focusing our efforts on CPL, Instrument Ratings and Flight Instructor Ratings. In 2009 we were purchased by the HNA Group who operates seventeen airlines in East Asia, Europe, Africa and South America. We train between 100-120 airline cadets a year. We are professionals in delivering airline cadet pilot training, with our training course foundation and philosophy on airline-orientated flight training, and providing students with an excellent foundation to start their aviation career.

Our location:

We are located at Port Macquarie airport (YPMQ) which is a non-towered CTAF airport. We have uncongested airspace for our training areas which are within 3-4 minutes flight time from the airport, and very few taxi delays, meaning you spend more time in the air learning how to fly as opposed to taxiing, holding and long flights to the training area. We are in close proximity to Class D and C airspace for exposure and training in an ATC environment (Coffs Harbour YCFS and Tamworth YSTW).

You can find out more about Port Macquarie here or watch this video about AIAC and the spectacular Hastings region.

Training aircraft and FTD:

We are set up as a commercial flight training provider, therefore we utilise training aircraft that are fit-for-purpose for commercial pilot and airline pilot training, not recreational flying. We operate a fleet of Diamond DA40NG single engine, and DA42-VI twin-engine aircraft in our training fleet. Our training fleet is supported by a TRU Simulation Flight Training Simulation Device (FSTD) that is representative of the Diamond DA40 and DA42. This means that the FSTD has to represent the actual aircraft in all aspects of cockpit layout and instrumentation (G1000), flight controls and actual aircraft performance. Our FSTD is not a desktop computer device like some FTO’s use and call simulators. It is a fully certified high-level FSTD that provides students the opportunity for quick transfer of skills that they learn in the device before starting to fly in the actual aeroplane.

How can we help SOAR aviation students:

We can help you get your flight training back on track and are happy to discuss this with you, with you being under no obligation to us. We understand that every student’s circumstances are different, and we can structure a training package that is suitable for you in terms of the flying you have completed, your budget, and your time commitments, i.e., work or study. We understand that we are not located in either Sydney or Melbourne, however we believe the benefits to you in completing your training at a regional airport outweigh the perceived disadvantages of not being in Sydney or Melbourne, and we can provide accommodation. We do not offer VET FEE-HELP, as we have always had doubts that the student actually benefits in anyway in the development of their flying skills and future career prospects, other than accruing a larger debt than students that conduct training in non-VET FEE-HELP training courses. What we can offer you as opposed to a VET FEE-HELP course is:

  • Training structured to your current circumstances.
  • Professional, highly structured and standardised training environment.
  • A clear outline of what your training will cost, when you will complete your training and what qualifications you will complete with.
  • Modern, and fit-for-purpose (commercial) training aircraft.
  • High levels of safety.
  • Professional flight instructors.
  • Flight Examiners on staff, no waiting for flight tests.
  • Dependability, transparency and honesty.
  • A company philosophy and culture of delivering flight training to highest standards (a reason why we have been around 30 years).

What next:

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, and to obtain an accurate assessment of how much it would cost to complete your training and how long it will take, please contact me personally on the contact details below.


I am also happy to provide some advocacy services (at no cost) to any SOAR students or their parents on what actions you can consider to recover the situation that you are in as a result of the actions of the institutions that you have placed your trust in. I have 26 years of professional aviation experience as an airline pilot, flight instructor, flight examiner and head of flying operations. I have also been a member of numerous CASA panels and advisory groups on regulatory reform and flight training. I also hold a significant level of academic experience, with a Master of Aviation Management degree and PhD (research) in aviation safety management. I am happy to help industry newcomers with my knowledge and experience.

Yours faithfully

Kevin McMurtrie,
Head of Operations
Australian International Aviation College

Ph: 0409 776 028