Career in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering
Aircraft maintenance engineering is not a degree or a diploma course, but a training programme. On completion of the training, a licence is issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
The aviation sector is growing at a rapid pace. New sophisticated aircrafts are being deployed and more air routes are being opened. The open sky policy has encouraged new operators to launch their airlines and feeder lines are becoming viable. Besides our large network of domestic airlines several international airlines now operate through India. During the training, lessons are imparted for service and maintenance of aircraft so as to ensure flight safety. A three-year aircraft maintenance engineering licence training course is being offered by several institutes approved by the DGCA. Those who have passed the Plus Two examinations with 50 per cent marks in aggregate in physics, chemistry and mathematics or a three-year diploma course in any branch of engineering or B.Sc. degree holders after Plus Two with maths, physics and chemistry are eligible for admission to AME training courses.
There is no gender discrimination in admission. Boys and girls can seek admission. This training course in rigorous and only a few institutes offer training on heavy aircraft and jet engines. Total training cost will be around Rs.1.5 lakh. To become an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) you need to obtain a licence from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The AME (Associate Membership Exam) certification is not a degree but a specialised licensing programme for servicing and maintenance of aircraft and only those institutes approved by the DGCA (www.dgca.nic.in) can impart training in this field to prepare you for the AME exam conducted by the Aeronautical Society of India (www.aesi.org). Upon clearing the internal exams (Section A & B), the DGCA will issue you an AME license, which is considered at par with a BE/BTech in aeronautical engineering from an Indian university.
The minimum eligibility for enrolling into this programme is a pass in class 10. If you have cleared 10+2 (PCM), you are directly eligible for Section A. Age limit: 23 years (at times, the upper age limit is relaxed for engineering diploma holders in any branch of engineering (50% marks) and science graduates. Many flying clubs have training institutes attached to them. However, only few of them offer training on heavy aircraft and jet engines as most make do with small aircraft and piston engines. So do check whether the institute you are enrolling in has the necessary aircraft, engines, library and modern teaching aids, etc. Also make sure the institute is listed on the DGCA website (www.dgca.nic.in). On completing of year one (two semesters) of the three year training programme, you can take the basic Paper I of the AME License Exam, followed by Paper II at the end of the second year and Paper III on airframe/engine/DR Compass on completion of the fifth semester (two and half year duration). Clearing these three papers at the earliest will fetch you the Basic Aircraft Maintenance Engineer Certificate (BAMEC) from DGCA which will make you eligible for a job in the aviation industry. That leaves you with Paper IV in your specific area of competence, which will fetch you the coveted AME license.
The course typically covers 18 topics: Flight aerodynamics, workshop technology, metallurgy/electricity, electronics/jet engineering, etc. as applied to aircraft maintenance. Training in the maintenance of sophisticated appliances such as radio equipment, compass systems, gyroscopic instruments, aviation direction finder, radial and line engines are also incorporated in the course. Alternatively, you can opt for a BE/BTech in aeronautical engineering from a regular engineering college. While these courses include instruction on maintenance of the aircraft and its components, the emphasis is more on the design and development of commercial and military aircraft.
- Rajiv Gandhi Aviation Academy, Bowenpally, Secundrabad – 500011 (AP)
- Fly Tech Aviation Academy, Maredpally West, Hyderabad (AP)
- Institute of Aircraft Maintenance Engineering, Old Airport Road, Gautam Nagar, Secunderabad (AP) Andhra Pradesh
- Aviation Academy, Old Airport, Hyderabad- 500011
- Hyderabad College of Aviation Technology, Hyder Nagar, Hyderabad
- Sigma Aviation Academy, West Maredpally, Secunderabad- 500025
- VSM Aerospace, Jakkur Layout, Bangalore
- Hindustan Aviation Academy, Chinnappanahally, Bangalore – 560037
- Hindustan Institute of Engineering Technology, GST Road, St. Thomas Mount, Chennai – 600016
- Nehru College of Aeronautics and Applied Sciences, Kuniamuthur, Coimbatore – 641008 Coimbatore
- Aeronautical College, Coimbatore
- Vinayaka Mission Aviation Academy, Salem – 636308
- Southern College of Engineering and Technology, Chalakudy – 680307
- Sha-Shib Aviation Academy, Nedumbassery, Cochin 683572
- Regional Institute of Aviation, Pallichal, Vedivachan Kovil. P.O, Thiruvananthapuram – 695501
The list is only indicative. Details of more institutions can be obtained from the website www.dgca.nic.in.
Job opportunities : Those who successfully complete the training and obtain DGCA’s licence are eligible to get jobs in airports and aircraft manufacturing or maintenance firms with an attractive salary. As more and more airlines start operations in the private sector, there will be an increase in demand for aircraft maintenance engineers and mechanics.