Aviation Australia has partnered with one of the premier aerospace colleges in the US, Northland Community & Technical College (NCTC), to deliver the first Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) maintenance training program in Australia.
The course is designed to educate and up-skill qualified aircraft maintenance engineers into UAS maintenance technicians. It will educate students with a broad understanding of commonly used UAS platforms at a functional level, and 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 engineers to support this growing industry,” Bill Horrocks, CEO of Aviation Australia said. “Aviation Australia is thrilled to be developing this capability with Northland Community & Technical College, who are a leading aerospace training provider in the US.”
The course will enable Australian industry to train maintenance staff to support the multiple commercial and military UAS platforms that are evolving in Australia. Under Air 7000 Phase 1B, for example, the RAAF is expected to be the first international partner to field the MQ-4C Triton, a US Navy maritime surveillance UAS built by Northrop Grumman, and this will require in-country sustainment.
Northrop Grumman identified the need to up-skill Australian aircraft maintenance engineers with UAS training to support unmanned capabilities and made the initial connection between the two training organisations. The company has previously provided NCTC with 14 Bat UAS aircraft and associated equipment for use at their 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.