High-flying career

With India’s civil aviation sector expanding rapidly, several international firms are investing in setting up MRO facilities (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility) in India, where any kind of major repairs on aircrafts are undertaken. 

Aviation industry is subject to high safety standards, both from security and operations perspective. One mishap and not only the lives of so many people are on stake but the global disturbances also create panic amongst people. While MROs undertake major maintenance, there are several routine activities carried out during operational hours to ensure zero error perfection level. 

 Pre Flight inspection during transit at each station is one such activity conducted by Aircraft Maintenance Engineers who issue a Certificate Release to Service (CRS). Aircraft cannot fly without CRS or fitness certificate issued by AME. These are specialized jobs. Different airlines have different guidelines and policies for safety inspections but all align with those of the aviation safety authority in India – Director General of Civil Aviation, DGCA. 

Aircraft Maintenance Engineers are the key people to monitor safety adherence both during daily operations and at the MRO facilities. Owing to the high safety standards, and civil aviation regulations, the education and license training programmes to become an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer is governed by DGCA, and not by AICTE. 

To get a license to work as an AME on an aircraft, one has to undergo six semesters training and has to pass all the examinations conducted by the training institute and DGCA. The candidate can appear in the DGCA examination only when he or she has undergone a course at an institute approved by DGCA which closely monitors the curriculum. The eligibility of such courses is minimum +2 or intermediate pass with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.

AME Course: There are five semester of six months each for theory papers. Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (Basic) Course focuses on following areas of specialization:-a) Mechanical Stream: (Aeroplane and Power plants) - Comprising of light Aero plane (LA), Heavy Aero plane (HA), Piston Engine PE), and Jet Engine.b) Mechanical Stream: (Helicopter and Power plants) - Comprising of Rotary Wing Aircraft (RA), Piston Engine (PE), and Jet Engine (JE).

c) Avionics Stream: Comprising of Electrical System (ES), Instrument System(IS), and Radio Navigation(RN) 

The Sixth semester focuses on the on-job training. This is usually provided on aircrafts like Bonanza A-35, pressurized aircraft Hawker HS-125, Learjet-24, Helicopter SA-318C and EurocopterEC-120B. As per DGCA regulations, the institutes offering these specialized courses should have these aircrafts within their campus.AME Course Design:  The training program is designed under the guidelines of DGCA. to provide comprehensive knowledge of aircraft, its systems, components and good maintenance practices to enable the students to become skilled and competent aircraft maintenance professionals. 

Job Opportunities 

When it comes to aviation, people in general think of Pilots or Air-Hostesses. However the truth is that for every operational aircrafts, the industry needs 2-4 Pilots, 6-10 Cabin Crews, 25-30 Aircraft Maintenance Engineers, and 50-60 ground staff. Since lots of new airlines are starting their operations, the need of trained manpower is on rise. Students need to focus on DGCA papers passing which industry induction is relatively easy.

 Industry training opportunities are always available and are mentioned on the respective websites of all the major aircraft carrier and MRO companies. The demand for the type rated service engineers will be high in the industry. The starting package as a trainee is usually between Rs 3-4 lakhs, which scales to Rs 12-15 lakh per annum once type rated license are procured.

Where to study 

* JRN Institute of Aviation Technology, New Delhi* Bharat Institute of Aeronautics, Patna* Indian Institute of Aeronautical Sciences, Kolkata* Academy of Aviation Engineering, Bangalore* Andhra Pradesh Aviation Academy, Hyderabad.

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