Queensland-based Aviation Australia and CQUniversity have joined together to launch the first dual-award aircraft maintenance degree in the nation – and third in the world.
The course was developed to address the rapidly growing demand for licensed aircraft maintenance engineers, especially as the industry evolves from the pandemic.
Students will graduate with a Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Aircraft Maintenance – Avionics) and a Diploma of Aircraft Maintenance Engineering – Avionics in three years.
Half will be delivered by Aviation Australia and the rest by CQUniversity.
Aviation Australia chief executive officer William Horrocks said the organisation developed the course to ensure graduates grow with the dynamic evolution of the industry.
“The field of aviation and aerospace is rapidly growing, and education and training providers are still only scratching the surface of the future potential applications for aviation technologies,” he said.
For the first 1.5 years, students will study with Aviation Australia in undertaking a Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering – Avionics.
According to the organisation, it is the only approved European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) course outcome available in Australia.
The second half of the degree will be taught by CQUniversity for all practical aspects of learning, including flight control, navigation, auto-flight, communication and avionics systems.
Additionally, students will also get hands-on experience with maintenance materials and asset management.
Students will also gain “deeper understanding” in unmanned aerial vehicles (drones).
CQUniversity’s vice-chancellor, Professor Nick Klomp said “graduates need a strong combination of theoretical knowledge, technical skills and hands-on experience to forge a successful career in the rapidly evolving aviation industry”.
Aircraft maintenance has been inching towards greater demand in the past few years.
Global demand analysis by industry players – Boeing Pilot and Technician outlook 2020-2039 – forecasts higher demand for skilled labour in avionic technology in the Asia-Pacific region.
While COVID-19 impacted the industry, Australian Industry and Skills Committee expects MRO services will increase by 2.7 per cent in the coming years as airlines and defence upgrade fleets.
While most aircraft were grounded due to the pandemic, all jets still required maintenance to safely fly again.
Bachelor students who have met requirements can apply for a CASA-certified Australian Remote Pilot License (RePl).
The course will be delivered through on-campus and online learning at Aviation Australia’s Brisbane Campus.
The CQUniversity element will be delivered in Cairns or online.
This is a landmark move in the Australian aviation industry, as aircraft maintenance study has been predominately offered through short courses or part of another degree.