In one of our latest post we discussed your career outlook as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician, as well as all the responsibilities you have ahead if you decide to follow this professional path and the role of basic and aircraft type training in it. Just considering how crucial maintenance is for the safety of all people on a plane and the complexity of the tasks involved in your everyday job, it becomes a duty to make sure you are trained with the best out there.
Choosing right training maintenance organisations where to enrol and who your role models will be is the first step towards professional success. In the case of Aircraft Maintenance Training you can use the help of some pointers that indicate the quality of the training course you are getting.
Being this a highly regulated sector, is it important to make sure the centre of your choosing is backed by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency), and let’s point out some of its objectives:
- Ensures the highest level of security for the inhabitants of the European Union (EU).
- Ensures the highest level of environmental protection.
- Heads individual certification and regulation processes between member states.
- Facilitates the internal aviation market and ensures fair competition.
- Works with other international aviation organizations and regulators.
Just by reading those pillars you now realize how vital it is to make sure the training centre of your choice is EASA Part 147 Approved Training Organisation.
But what is EASA Part 147?
Since the creation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation in 1944 each country has developed its own approach to certify aircraft designs as suitable to fly in such countries and to standardize their national aircraft maintenance standards.
A pan-European organisation was devised in the 1980s to reflect the best practices of the US FAA system and to unify all EU standards into one. In the 1990s, the JAA was created and the Joint Airworthiness Regulations (JARs) were published, which were the first directives for a single regulatory statute for European aviation.
In 2003 EASA was launched and issued EC REG No 1592/2002, which established today’s (EC REG No 216/2008) common rules in the field of European civil aviation. EASA Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002, which establishes the current common rules (EC REG No 216/2008) in the field of European civil aviation, was launched and published in 2003.
So, long story short, in 2003 the European Commission released Commission Regulation EC No. 2042/2003 and then it has been updated in 2014 by Commission Regulation EC No. 1321/2014 “on the continuing airworthiness of aircraft and aeronautical products, parts and appliances and on the approval of organizations and personnel involved in these tasks.” This regulation has a few annexes to it, more commonly known as “parts”.
- EASA Part M – Continuing Airworthiness Requirements.
- EASA Part 145 – Maintenance Organization Approvals.
- EASA Part 66 – Certifying Staff.
- EASA Part 147 – Technical Training Organizations and Requirements.
There we go, to make it clear, EASA PART-147 is the part that establishes the whole process of becoming an Aircraft Maintenance Technician, both for basic training and for type training. It covers all aspects of the training process the centre must comply with to make sure all applicants get the correct approach.
It defines from the Competent Authority in charge of validating the training to the size and structure of facilities, to the centre’s personnel qualifications required, to Aircraft type and basic examinations and task assessments.
Is there any specific benefit if I choose an EASA Part 147 approved training centre?
There is one main difference that says it all. If you take the EASA Part-147 approved course to then sit for the initial basic or type examination to obtain your Aircraft Maintenance Licence (AML) you only need to gather two years' maintenance experience before applying to the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) for your B Licence, instead of the 5 you would need if you take your course at a non-approved centres across Europe or at non face to face training.
Part-147 is a detailed specification of how everything should be, and the most important thing to bear in mind is that EASA Part 147 approved centres are going through audit programme on a constant basis to verify that all standards are complied with.
And not only that, the standard also establishes a process for the maintenance training organisation to make it right again so that the applicants are not affected in case a training they took did not comply fully with the requirements. There are processes in place to adjust all necessary aspects, always under very strict tasks and procedures to be followed.
If you have to choose between studying with the well-intended or studying with those that not only mean well but are also always struggling to be the best, auditing their own processes and always up-to-date, what would you choose?