India's DGCA rule may shut down maintenance training

 - December 31, 2008, 5:33 AM

The November 20 issue of the Daily News & Analysis of Mumbai, India, reports Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) institutes might shut down across the country, a move that has nothing to do with global economics.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) plans to make it compulsory for institutes to acquire newer aircraft to teach aircraft maintenance engineering courses. But AME is not in a position to buy the aircraft.

A senior civil aviation official said, “The idea is to overhaul the entire system for aircraft maintenance engineering courses taught in institutes.”

There are 68 AME schools registered with the DGCA, the body that certifies and registers AME schools. The move has left these schools coming up short as AME license renewal came due at the end of last year. The newspaper reported that buying new aircraft would bleed the schools financially.

“They are trying hard to get rid of the proposed clause that makes it compulsory for them to acquire newer aircraft,” a representative of an AME school said on condition of anonymity. “The price of the aircraft according to DGCA’s specification will be so high that it will force many AME schools to shut down.” The schools currently use parts of older aircraft.

School representatives argue that DGCA must not equate AME schools with pilot training schools. “It is normal for flying schools to have a fleet of single-engine aircraft. But no AME school can afford to buy a fleet of aircraft for teaching aircraft maintenance engineering courses,” he said.

According to the article, DGCA officials see nothing wrong in the proposed amendment as it will raise the quality of teaching to global standards. “The schools are teaching students using parts of older aircraft models no longer
in use. What is wrong if the DGCA is framing guidelines for the institutes to teach students in aircraft that are still in use?” asked a DGCA official.