Modular licencing would permit engineers to be licenced without having to study a wide range of aircraft systems that may not be required for their intended careers.
It is thought that modular licences would get more engineers qualified to work on basic aircraft sooner, helping relieve ongoing engineer shortages in the industry.
“This is designed to help address the shortage of licensed aircraft maintenance engineers (LAMEs) by making it easier for people to obtain a licence or return to the profession after a long absence,” CASA states.
“It will also assist foreign licence holders seeking a qualification to work in Australia.
“Feedback from the industry was that the Part 66 AME licence pathways were too inflexible compared to the previous CAR 31 five-category process and we should develop a progressive, modular licensing structure.”
The consultation opened yesterday relates only to Stage One of the proposal, which is to Part 66 MOS by the end of 2023 to enable Category B1 (mechanical) and B2 (avionics) licences to be issued with exclusions.
“This will allow us to issue licences in modules (similar to the old CAR 31 system) and exclude only certain aircraft systems, based on an applicant’s training,” CASA says.
“For example, a person who has only completed basic training (knowledge modules and practical experience) for piston engines could be granted a modular licence to work on piston engines.
“But the exclusions applied to the licence would mean they couldn’t work on airframes or other aircraft systems without completing the relevant basic training modules and experience.”
Of the 60 submissions to the discussion paper (DP) published in March this year, 90% supported the idea either wholly or with some changes.
One of the key criticisms of the original proposals was that not enough exclusions were proposed. The Regional Aviation Association of Australia (RAAA) initially said the exclusions meant the proposal was “watered down”.
Feedback can be sent in via the CASA consultation hub and is open for submissions until 12 October 2023.
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