If you are all in about becoming an Aircraft Maintenance Technician, then you are already quite used to understanding regulations. You are diving into a highly regulated sector, and that is why it is essential that you are aware and able to properly identify which standards govern this profession.
In this article we will cover two of the most famous standards of European Aviation Safety Agency or EASA related to the profession of aircraft maintenance technician: EASA Part 66 and EASA Part 147. Let’s dig into those names so could get the idea of what is behind these two standards and understand each of them.
European Aviation Safety Agency
EASA is the European Aviation Safety Agency, and as its name indicates, it is an organisation that ensures that all aircraft out there are safe. And it is not the only entity doing that, there is also a State one in each country, but the difference is that if you abide by the provisions established by EASA, then you are complying with the requirements established all across Europe.
So, EASA’s specialists establish what to look out for and what measures to take to be safe flying. To be more specific, EASA Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002 is the one that establishes the current common rules (EC REG No 216/2008) in the field of European civil aviation, and it was launched and published in 2003. As there are a myriad things and aspects to look after within that regulation, EASA takes care of each one of them separately within the regulation and breaks it down into parts.
EASA Part 66 and Part 147 are basically, specific dedicated sections within the Regulation in which EASA establishes the standards to follow. The next natural question is: What is Part 66 and Part 147 and what is the difference between them?
EASA Part 66 and EASA Part 147
EASA Part-66 licence is the regulation that provides for a common European aircraft maintenance licence recognized in all EASA member states. In other words, it is the licence that an aircraft maintenance technician gets when he or she finishes basic training course and completes 2 or 5 years of experience requirements depending on the training centre and with which he or she can work as AMT.
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. In other words, EASA Part 147 covers the regulations to follow at a Maintenance Training Organisation responsible for either Basic or Type Training for Part 66 Engineers and Aircraft Maintenance Technician.
Why is it important to attend an approved centre?
So, on the one hand, you have the rules to become an Aircraft Maintenance Technician, that is to obtain a Part 66 Licence. On the other hand, there are the rules that a Maintenance Training Organisation should follow and comply with when training those technicians, which is Part 147.
This does not mean that you can only get a Part 66 Licence at a Part 147 Approved Centre. There are many organizations that offer training courses to pass your licence exams but not all of them are certified by EASA. You can choose freely where to complete your course but there are differences you need to be aware of.
If you attend an EASA Part 147 approved course and then take part in the first basic or type examination to get your Aircraft Maintenance Licence (AML), you only need to gain two years of maintenance experience before applying for your B licence at the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority), instead of the 5 years they require, courses are taken at a non-approved centre across Europe.
Another advantage offered by EASA Part 147 approved courses is that the licence is valid across Europe, since, as mentioned before, EASA is an European Agency and applies to the whole territory.
What is the difference between Basic Training and Type Training?
You can take both Basic Training and Type Training courses at these Part 147 centres. As you know, passing the basic training course examination gives you general basic aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) knowledge and a Category B licence, which is divided into two subcategories:
- B1 - Mechanical (aircraft construction, power plant and mechanical and electrical systems).
- B2 - Avionics (communications, navigation, radar, instruments and electrical systems).
The logical next step is to delve into a specific type of aircraft and become an expert, hence Type Training comes after the basic one.
A type training or type rating goes beyond fundamental training into training on a specific type of aircraft, its engines, its systems and other specialisms. These courses require successful completion of the elementary training and enables you to release the aircraft for maintenance work that has been performed on a component or the aircraft. In order to complete type training course you will have to gain in theoretical knowledge and practical experience related to the determined type of aircraft.
What are the most widely used commercial aircraft?
Sometimes it is difficult to decide which Type Training to take once you are done with your Basic Training, so knowing what is in demand out there helps you make sure you are preparing for a future full of job opportunities.
With over 13,000 aircraft sold, the Airbus A320 is the best-selling aircraft. This model has been the most requested for several years. Its main rival is Boeing, which is of American origin and ranks second on the list: Boeing 737. Doing type training on these 2 types of aircraft, will almost guarantee you a bright future in the aircraft maintenance profession.
Boeing 737 was the best seller until the last one arrived. It is a model that is constantly being improved and already has four different generations. Third place goes to another one from the same company, Boeing 777, and then comes Airbus again, with the Airbus A330. This model has been flying since 1994, like the Boeing 777, and it is attractive because of its fuel economy.
Are you ready then to get down to it and become an expert? Just make sure you train with the best, and in this business, best is defined by complying with the standards.