The North Queensland Aero Club is Far North Queensland’s oldest, premier flight training school, scenic operator and light aircraft charter company. The NQAC has been part of the exciting journey for many aviators for over 66 years. Our team of expert, friendly instructors and office staff are willing to assist you in any way possible to help you achieve your goals. Whether you want to fly recreationally, privatly or commercially, our team will help you make those dreams reality, it’s never too late to realise your dream of flying. Perhaps you would prefer to take a spectacular scenic flight around the Atherton Tablelands or Great Barrier Reef and rainforest, or even make that appointment out in the bush today, we can help with that too.

Our fleet consists of 9 aircraft, including three Cessna 152s, two 172s and a 172XP (which is approved for IFR). We also have a Piper Cherokee 180 online fitted with hand controls for wheel chair bound students. A  Jabiru J160D which is used for Recreational Flight Training, a cost effective alternative to general aviation is also part of our fleet.

The North Queensland Aero Club operate from Mareeba Aerodrome on the picturesque Atherton Tablelands. A short 45 minute drive from Cairns, or 22 nautical miles and 10 minutes by air.


Where else in the world will you have the opportunity to learn to fly in:

  • a place where accommodation is readily available nearby the airport
  • a School that operates 362 days of the year
  • a school with personalised One on One Training
  • a School that has existed for over 66 years
  • Class C International Airspace
  • A tropical environment, where you experience many different weather patterns
  • a World Heritage Listed area – The Great Barrier Reef
  • a place where Navigation Exercises take you to interesting places in the Queensland outback
Meet our Team

The North Queensland Aero Club employ three full time Instructors, one part time Instructor, and one casual Instructors which includes two RAA certified Instructors for our recreational flight school. Flight Tests are conducted in house by our Flight Examiner. The collective experience of our instructing team spans over fifteen thousand flying hours and more than 22 years in the industry. The smaller, clubhouse feel means you get a learning experience tailored to your exact needs with dedicated one on one training. 2013 marks 20 years service to our CFI and 10 years in the role of CFI. In 2014 the NQAC celebrated 65 years of operation and remains one of the only aero clubs in Australia that operates as a professional flying school as well as a social venue for its members.

Location & Weather

Where to find us


  • Did my license with these guys in 2002, it was a beautiful place to learn to fly and a great experience flying out of a busy international airport.The instructors were first rate,a good laugh and above all really nice people who are devoted to delivering the best levels of training to the would be pilot. Thank you Sally,Toby,Fiz,Tony & Bob(the equipment guy)

    Sim S.
  • Thanks to Gareth we had an amazing experience over the barrier reef on our last day in Cairns! Anyone visiting must add this to the to do list! Great value and an awesome experience!

    Nicola H.
  • Thanks to Gareth for an excellent introductory flight today! Cant wait to do more flying now

    Liam D.
  • NQAC has seen me through a GFPT, PPL and CPL conversion.  The instructors have always been highly professional, safe and knowledgeable . Flying in the tropics provides a unique, challenging and rewardingexperience as does navigating through the remote North Queensland region with the added practice of operating out of a busy Class C international airport.  With guidance from the NQAC instructors you will find your navigation and meteorology skills superior to those who have flown exclusively in built up areas in the higher latitudes of Australia. The NQAC has a well maintained fleet of aircraft, friendly staff and a welcoming clubhouse which has a great view of the airfield. Learning to fly alongside the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and remote Australian Outback is a normal day flying with the NQAC.
    NQAC employed me upon completion of my CPL on a casual basis providing scenic and charter flights which has allowed me to build those valuable hours and experience. This was also followed up by other aviation related employment possibilities. I have flown with many other flying schools in Australia and overseas and have found that the quality of instructors is second to none. The club has a long history in aviation and you will not regret flying with them.

    Alex C.
  • I would like to thank you and your staff for the help you gave me in reclaiming my CPL. The high standards of the club are a credit to you. I cannot tell you how impressed I was with ‘young Travis’, who, despite making me work so hard, did so with the utmost professionalism, maturity and courtesy. All is not lost when you realise that there are 20 year olds around like him!
    Happy New Year, Safe Flying, and thanks again.

    Chris L.
  • Today I finally got to use my voucher for a Trial flight and it was an awesome experience! My instructor Grant was very knowledgeable and he made it an easy and safe environment for me to learn the basics of flying. I will be back for further lessons. Thanks again!!

    Daniel G.
  • You couldn’t find a better organisation to learn to fly with. The instructors are a team of highly knowledgeable and safe professionals.

    Combine that with a fleet of well maintained aircraft, Its a school that devotes time to personalised one on one training that instills confidence in their students to achieve their goals.

    I certainly recommend the NQAC to anyone who is considering learning to fly, whether that be for fun or as a career.

    Scott B.
  • The scenery is just beautiful. It’s such an amazing area to be flying, and the two flights we’ve done with you have really made our holiday. We’ll definitely be back.
    Kevin & Alison
  • I would like thank NQAC for making my flight training experience so enjoyable. I’ve undertaken learning to fly as a hobby and something to enjoy, and NQAC has make this even better than I could have expected. The mixture of professional training and the relaxed friendly club environment is well balanced, and along with ever helpful staff, NQAC is a great place to learn to fly.
    The location at Cairns has to one of the best places in Australia to fly, between the Great Dividing Range, the Coral Sea and views to the Great Barrier Reef – the scenery can’t get much better. Being able to flying at Cairns airport gaining experience in the controlled airspace I believe has been extremely beneficial to my flying ability and confidence. Interacting with a variety of aircraft is wonderful, along with the moderate traffic levels. I would easily recommend the NQAC as a great place to learn to fly.

    Geoff A.
  • Honest big hearted people with a common passion for flying have for years devoted an immense amount of time and energy into building a club that includes everyone and promotes learning and the growth of new friendships and contacts. This has made the North Queensland Aero Club what it is today. As someone that is new to learning to fly I feel that this environment is an invaluable resource as it allows me to not only be a student of flight, but to be a part of a network that is here to support the hopes and dreams that I have.
    Rob P.


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