Published in Midwest Flyer – August/September 2018 issue
Aviation Australia of Brisbane, Australia, has partnered with Northland Community & Technical College (NCTC) of Thief River Falls, Minnesota, to provide Australia with its first unmanned aerial systems (UAS) maintenance training program.
Courses are designed to educate and up-skill qualified aircraft mechanics to become UAS maintenance technicians. The course will educate students with a broad understanding of commonly used UAS platforms at a functional level, creating uniquely skilled individuals for jobs of the future.
The training course will be compliant with key international and Australian regulatory requirements, enabling graduates to leave with multiple domestic and international outcomes.
“There has been significant growth in the usage and application of unmanned aerial systems in Australia. There is a clear need for skilled and well-trained maintenance technicians to support this growing industry,” said Bill Horrocks, Aviation Australia Chief Executive Officer.
“Aviation Australia is thrilled to be developing this capability with Northland Community & Technical College, which is a leading aerospace training provider in the USA.”
The course is a key enabler for the Australian industry to up-skill its aircraft maintenance personnel, supporting the multiple Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) commercial and military UAS platforms that are evolving in the country.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is expected to be the first international partner to field the MQ-4C Triton, a U.S. Navy maritime surveillance UAS built by Northrop Grumman, and this will require in-country sustainment.
Northrop Grumman made the initial connection between the two world-class training organizations, previously providing NCTC with 14 Bat UAS aircraft and associated equipment for use at their U.S. based campus in Minnesota.
A range of NCTC-owned UAS training assets will be shipped to Aviation Australia’s Brisbane campus in late 2018 for use in the practical portion of the first Australian based UAS course.
Aviation Australia is the largest maintenance training organization (MTO) in Australia, holding multiple national and international airworthiness approvals and brings a wealth of knowledge to the review and adaptation of Northland Community & Technical College’s training courseware to comply with future Australian regulatory requirements.
Northland Community & Technical College has designed UAS courses to develop the next generation of aerospace technicians. The NCTC-developed UAS maintenance training program is a capstone program designed to up-skill FAA-certified Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Maintenance Technicians prior to commencing specific type training on UAS platforms.