CLARE BURGESS on a new course which will produce the next generation of aviation technicians
NORWICH IS gearing up to welcome the country’s first International Aviation Academy to help aspiring aviation engineers start their journey towards a high-flying career. Successful applicants will study at a specialist centre next to Norwich International Airport where they will combine advanced academic study with practical experience that has the potential for students to enter high level employment soon after graduating.
The aviation engineering courses are run in partnership with KLM UK Engineering, who are based next to the academy and have over 30 years’ experience in aircraft technical training as well as maintenance. The five-year study programme will see students spending the first two years learning the basic principles of aviation engineering before progressing on to a three-year Bachelor of Science degree accredited by the University of East Anglia.
Course leader Stuart Mackay has experienced the fantastic opportunities that this industry has to offer. After studying engineering at City College Norwich 40 years ago, Stuart travelled around the world working in a variety of operational and managerial positions in the sector. He now combines his expert professional knowledge with his love of aeronautics to teach the next generation of aviation engineers.
“Successful aviation engineers are disciplined, motivated and hard-working with a passion for aircraft and aeronautics. Their job is to ensure an aircraft is safe to fly by carrying out each task to exceptionally high standards and within incredibly high tolerances which can sometimes mean working in extreme conditions. There are no laybys or breakdown services at 37,000ft so it is the job of an engineer to use the tools and materials available to create something to a high degree of excellence and precision because people’s lives depend on it,” said Stuart
“To start working on an aircraft unsupervised, you need a Category B licence from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) alongside two to three years of practical experience. The Norwich International Aviation Academy provides our degree level students with the opportunity to work towards this license by allowing them to gain practical experience on a recently retired aircraft from KLM’s fleet during the three year qualification. The academy will also allow high-performing Level 3 students to gain their Category A EASA license before progressing on to degree level.
“Due to the unique style of this advanced training, successful students will have the qualifications to enter highly-skilled and well-paid employment soon after graduating. Working as an aviation engineer is more than just a job, it is a remarkable career which will see those who have got what it takes securing interesting and sustainable employment anywhere in the world.”
Students at CCN
Stuart Mackay works with a student