AMS, PAMA join on tech certification

 - March 19, 2008, 6:10 AM

Maintenance professionals will soon be able to quantify the training they have received as a part of their jobs. Recently, the Aircraft Maintenance Society (AMS) was taken under the wing of the Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA) to form PAMA-AMS. The organization’s members will be able to establish a baseline of current qualifications and work toward achieving higher educational milestones and validate their achievements.

“The certification of mechanics has come down a long and rocky road,” PAMA president Brian Finnegan said. “Some of the proposed FAA plans over the years would have been very difficult to implement. We believed a voluntary program was the right answer.”

The program was initially conceived and developed by Dave Benoff, maintenance editor for Business & Commercial Aviation magazine. Benoff said the program recognizes both noncertified entry-level personnel, as well as certified individuals. “It provides a clear path for advancement, taking into consideration an individual’s career path.”

The program has career paths identified for light general aviation/sport, corporate/business aviation, air carrier, military and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command’s Logistics Assistance Representative University (LAR).

The certification route can start with Aircraft Maintenance Advocate, a noncertified individual such as a flight student or pilot, flight line service technician or even a member of the Civil Air Patrol. The aircraft maintenance professional is the entry level for certified personnel and training and experience leads to the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) level. The highest level of certification comes after 15 years of experience and is designated the Master AME.

Within each of the professional levels there are requirements for annual training that recognize both technical and nontechnical education. Also within a given level there is recognition for the amount of training received. The bronze level is awarded after 20 hours of training, 30 hours are required for silver and 60 hours for gold.