The Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering is one of the most popular programmes at Nilai University College. 

How do you explain the success of the programme thus far?
Students get course notes from our partner institution in the United Kingdom and are guided by a dedicated teaching staff making this a very attractive proposition. A reputable partner conducting the professional exams also lends credence to our programme. But most importantly, students will acquire an internationally recognised qualification and this makes Nilai UC’s Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering a much sought after qualification.

Is there any danger that the aviation industry may stagnate and cause a glut of unemployed aircraft maintenance engineers?
No, I don’t think so because air travel is part of our life now. As such, there is a need to use aircrafts as a mode of transportation. Additionally there is some thing called retirement for ageing engineers and technicians. Who are expected to replace these retired personnel? Engineers are also tempted to find greener pastures abroad. So there is a constant need for replacements.

There’s been another new development in that Nilai UC is now a recognised Second Examination Site for the EASA Part 66 B1-1. Tell us more about that.
There are a few other institutions providing Aircraft Maintenance engineering courses but Nilai UC is among a very select few that has the approval to conduct the IR Part 66 Exams. Nilai UC launched this programme in November 2007 and is developing at a very rapid rate as within that time we have managed to provide the avenue for students and aircraft engineers to sit for this highly-sought after qualification in our own backyard.

How important is it for Nilai UC to have this accreditation?
Its very important in giving the basic training for fresh school leavers and matured adults who look forward to acquiring the professional qualifications. This accreditation in fact links Nilai UC with the aircraft maintenance industry and the technical personnel who have not acquired the licence or needs the conversion exams to be abreast with the license requirements.

What are the advantages to being a Second Exam Site?
One can conduct professional exams (IR Part 66) for all categories identical to our partner institution (Air Services Training, Perth, Scotland). This is not limited to Nilai UC’s full-time students only but also to unlicensed and licensed personnel involved directly in the maintenance of aircrafts.

Do you recommend diploma students in this field to further pursue their studies?
Being a maintenance engineering programme, its ideal that diploma graduates pursue a B.Sc. in Aircraft Engineering. This qualification enables them to hold supervisory positions in the maintenance environment.

What is the Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering?
This Diploma will equip you with theoretical and professional skills in carrying out the maintenance of civil aircraft.

What are the qualifications to enter?
A student must pass SPM with a minimum of three credits inclusive of Mathematics, English and any one Science subject. Foreign applicants will have to possess ‘O’ levels or its equivalents.

What is the duration of the programme?
It will take you two and half years to complete and is subdivided into seven semesters.

When is the enrolment period?
The first intake is in January 2008 and you can enroll now. Students can enroll for the course with a minimum registration fee of just RM100.

What is the key selling point of this programme?
First and foremost, Nilai UC's programme incorporates the much-vaunted European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 66 Category B1-1 syllabus. EASA is the centerpiece of the European Union’s strategy for aviation safety. Its mission is to promote the highest common standards of safety and environmental protection in civil aviation (For further information, please go to Nilai UC also offer students the unique opportunity to take the EASA examination towards an EASA Part 66 Category B1-1 Aircraft maintenance licence whilst pursuing the diploma programme.

What sort of job prospects can a person armed with this qualification expect?
The affordability of air travel has led to a significant growth in the air carrier industry thus creating a huge demand for aircraft maintenance staff. Suitably qualified personnel especially those allowed to certify aircraft worthiness command high salaries and are very much sought after.
What will be a person’s official designation upon completing this course?
Candidates who successfully complete the programme will be called mechanics or technicians. But after two to five years of work experience and having successfully covered all the relevant EASA Examination modules, there is a great possibility for them to be Aircraft Maintenance Engineers.

Who are the prospective employers?
They will largely be employed in Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul organisations. Other prospective employers include general aviation operators.

Which bodies recognize this programme?
Most importantly, Nilai UC has the recognition from the Ministry of Higher Education. We also have the blessings from the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) Malaysia who support Nilai UC’s initiative in producing more skilled maintenance personnel with the requisite qualifications. We are also in the process of getting approval to be the second examination site for EASA Part 66 B1-1 category from Air Services Training, United Kingdom that is audited by Civil Aviation Authority, UK.

What does this EASA Part 66 Category B1-1 licence allow you to do?
This permits the licence holder certify the air-worthiness of aircraft following maintenance. This includes aircraft structure, power plant as well as mechanical and electrical systems. You will also be allowed to change avionic line replaceable units and simple test to prove their serviceability. In other words, this Part 66 B1-1 licence will cover almost 90% of the overall required basic knowledge on fixed wing aircraft fitted with turbine engines.

What is the definition of air-worthiness?
This is where an aircraft has been maintained to the agreed standards expected by the regulatory bodies for it to be air-worthy and therefore safe.

Which other institutions offer this special arrangement?
None that I know of. Nilai UC could be considered so far the only private tertiary institution to adopt the EASA Part 66 Category B1-1 syllabus in its Diploma programme.

How does a student take the EASA examinations?
There are 13 modules and there will be three sittings a year – April, July and Dec – and students must pass all the modules before he can begin the process towards becoming an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. This title will only be given after successful candidates have completed the necessary practical apprenticeship.

Will international students be recognised when they return to their respective countries with this qualification?
Yes. This is an international qualification. However, certain countries like United States of America may differ slightly and students may be required to sit for an additional exam before being granted recognition.

How will the course be conducted?
The first and second semesters will involve purely theoretical studies. Semesters three to six will be a combination of both practical and theoretical studies. The final semester will be devoted entirely to practical training at one of our eight-industry partner’s facilities. This six-month placement will count towards the work experience required by EASA before a licence is granted.

Who are these industry partners?
Nilai UC can proudly point to some of the leading industry players as partners in this programme. They are – Berjaya Air Sdn Bhd, Dnest Air Services Sdn Bhd, KLAS DRB-HICOM, Gulf Golden International Flying Academy Sdn Bhd, Integrated Aviation Academy Sdn Bhd, Penerbangan Sabah Sdn Bhd, Subang General Aviation Sdn Bhd and Systematic Aviation Services Sdn Bhd .

Are there any exemptions if a student wants to join Nilai UC’s programme when he has already started a similar course at another college?
It would depend on what exams and syllabus they have done.

When can a graduate be a full-fledged Aircraft Maintenance Engineer?
A person must have passed all the modules examination for the category in our programme and completed the required apprenticeship in all the relevant categories. This process will normally take between two to five years.

What about pursuing a degree in Aircraft maintenance Engineering and how will this benefit a student?
You can pursue a degree after our Diploma Programme at Perth College, UK, which is also affiliated, to Air Services Training. The degree course will take an additional year and the benefit is that it will allow you access to managerial positions, which are the really high-paying jobs. After getting this degree and coupled with a few years work experience, you are looking at a five-figure salary.