Civil Aviation is a highly regulated and respected industry controlled by national aviation authorities. To maintain the enviable safety standards that have been established, people working within the industry must be licensed. In other words, just as Pilots are trained and then licensed to fly aircraft, Aircraft Technicians must be trained and licensed to maintain aircraft and then release those aircraft to service.
By ensuring that all maintenance work is properly executed and all Aircraft Technicians are fully trained and regulated, the Aviation Industry (and its governing bodies) aims to maintain the safety of the aircraft and all passengers by keeping the airplanes in airworthy condition.
This aim is not simple to achieve. Aircraft are a complex mixture of systems maintained by an equally complex workforce. For this reason, it is worth your while taking time to understand the licensing process for certifying Aircraft Technicians and the training that you will undertake if you choose Aircraft Engineering as your career.
To ensure safety within the industry, Aircraft Technicians are licensed in the same way as pilots and air traffic controllers. If suitably licensed an Aircraft Technicians can certify the work that has been carried out on an aircraft and return it to service.
This license is known as the Part-66 Aircraft Maintenance License or AML and is valid for 5 years after which it needs to be renewed by the competent authority.
Let’s have a look at the different categories of licenses:
Typically the amount of training hours required to complete the license program are:
Now, what disciplines do the Licenses cover?
A1 – Turbine Engined Aeroplanes
A2 – Piston Engined Aeroplanes
A3 – Turbine Engined Helicopters
A4 – Piston Engined Helicopter
For example: to certify the replacement of a main wheel on a CJ3 (during line maintenance), a Category A1 license is required.
B1.1 – Turbine Engined Aeroplanes
B1.2 – Piston Engined Aeroplanes
B1.3 – Turbine Engined Helicopters
B1.4 – Piston Engined Helicopters
B2 – Avionic
B3 – Piston engine non-pressurized aircraft below 2,000kg mass
For example: to certify the replacement of the landing gear on a Falcon 7X, a category B1.1 license is required.
How do you get an aircraft type on your AML?
In order to add a category to an AML, a theoretical part and a practical part must be completed.
The theoretical part consists of passing exams of the different modules of basic knowledge in a Part 147 organization. Which modules you need to take exams for depends on the category you apply for.
The practical part consists of demonstrating experience. The required content and duration of your practical experience depends on the category requested and on your previous education. This experience must also be representative and recent.
When both sections are evaluated positively, you can obtain an AML with the requested category endorsed, issued by the competent authority.
If I have my Part-66 AML, can I start working on airplanes?
No. To start working on aircraft and certifying your work, an internal certification authorization within the Part 145 Maintenance Organization is required. This internal certification authorization is based on the procedures described in the Maintenance Organization Exposition (MOE) of the organization.
The Maintenance Organization is responsible to perform a qualification assessment of the individual holding an AML. Typically this assessment will be performed by the Compliance Department of the Maintenance Organization.
Once satisfied you will be granted a document typically called a “Company Authorization” which will identify the privileges.
Compliance Monitoring & Safety Manager