The women started a 68-week course this week to secure a New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority Commercial Pilot Licence and Multi-engine Instrument Rating at Nelson Aviation College, Nelson.
The women are able to take up the course thanks to full sponsorship from the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Central Province Governor Kila Haoda.
The move is part of a plan by the Central Province Government to raise the education and perception of women in the country.
They were selected and appointed by an expert panel including the Nelson Aviation College’s Chief Flying Instructor, Jeremy Anderson, and several representatives from Air Niugini.
The women’s progress towards gaining a pilot’s licence is being publicised in PNG so that they can act as role models in a country where only around five per cent of women are in waged employment.
Trainee pilot Marie Auka said: “We are proud to be selected as pioneer female cadets under the Central Female Pilot Scholarship Programme. This is not only a milestone, but an honour and a privilege for us. We hope to learn a lot about the culture and the people of New Zealand as well as learning how to fly.”