The engineers successfully completed five years of training and received their licences in a ceremony in Port Moresby on 10th Oct, 2017.
This licence, granted by the UK Civil Aviation Authority, is recognised worldwide and now allows these young Papua New Guineans to be able to certify the completion of maintenance on United Kingdom registered aircraft. They could even easily convert their UK licences to an Australian or New Zealand (NZ) licence and certify for Australian or NZ aircraft.
Air Niugini Chief Executive Officer, Simon Foo, in congratulating the AMEs, said it is a higher level training that is recognised worldwide, adding that using the UK licence, Air Niugini AMEs can apply for a PNG AME licence without having to complete the CASA PNG AMEL Basic Examination requirements.
Foo said: “Using the UK AME licence, the first group of AMEs can now apply to CASA PNG for Fokker 100/70 type rating endorsement while the second group can apply for endorsement and rating on Dash 8-100/200/300 aircraft.”
He said it took the two groups five years to successfully complete and attain their UK licences, an achievement Air Niugini is very proud of.
“Air Niugini invests about K600,000 in training a young Papua New Guinean engineer or pilot cadet each year. We are serious about training. And this achievement by the 21 young people is something we all are proud of, Air Niugini, their families and our country.”
The two groups of AMEs did their initial Cadet AME programs with Air New Zealand Aviation Institute and Aviation Australia respectively.
Following a four-year cadet program, it normally takes 12 to 14 months for the AMEs to get their PNG Licence. The first group will get their PNG Licence by December this year.
Foo also said the board and management of Air Niugini will be investing in hangar facilities at the Jackson’s airport. This means the heavy maintenance of aircraft can be carried out in Papua New Guinea, resulting in cost savings.
“This will reduce overseas expenditure as well as build the PNG engineering staff capacity. These 21 AMEs are fortunate to be among those who will be using this facility and they are the future of Air Niugini,” Foo concluded.
Also present at the ceremony was Chief Executive Officer and Director, Civil Aviation Safety Authority, PNG (CASA PNG), Wilson Sagati, and Air New Zealand Aviation Institute’s Development Manager, John Ogilvie.