Monday, January 5, 2009

Reaching for new heights

It’s been over a year since Nilai University College (Nilai UC) launched its Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering programme. The response has been immense and this programme proves that Nilai UC does indeed have its finger on the educational pulse.
We catch up with the department’s head, Kunalan Marimuthu, to find out just why this programme seems to have caught the school leaver’s imagination.

How many students are there at Nilai UC’s Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering at the moment?
We got just under 100 students for the January and March 2008 intakes while a further 75 have registered for the July intake alone. We have already received a number of applications for the January 2009 intake. These are very encouraging figures and bode well for the industry as well as for Nilai UC's programme.

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.

You have met many students and parents since the launch in Nov 2007. What are the reasons they give for enrolling in this programme?
Parents and students alike are drawn to the fact that our programme offers the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 66 B1-1 professional qualification, which is internationally recognised and is much sought after today. Many have independently verified the importance of EASA qualification in the aviation industry and are thus keen to gain this qualification. They also note that we have links with many organisations within the local aviation industry which will be a boon when its time for the student to undergo industrial placement.

The boom in the aviation industry has fed the demand for skilled aircraft maintenance personnel. Is this still the case with fluctuating fuel prices and global recession?
Fuel crisis alone does not affect the industry. There are other factors to be considered as well. For example, it is estimated that the world’s airlines will require 24,000 new aircraft, which must be greener, cleaner and smarter than ever before. As such, the demand for a skilled work force to keep these aircraft airworthy will be there.

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 are the benefits of pursuing a degree in aircraft maintenance engineering?
It will be useful for those who want to go far and be fast-tracked into managerial positions. It also opens up opportunities in related fields such as that of Chief Engineer.

Nilai UC was established in 1997 and is located just 40-minutes south of Kuala Lumpur. Within its 105-acre campus, you’ll find students from 50 different nations pursuing degrees and diplomas as diverse as the Diploma in Culinary Arts and the Degree in Computer Science. For more information, please got to or call 06-8502338 / 07-333 2336 / 03-5637 2619 / 088-238811.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Nilai UC gets EASA examination second site approval

Nilai University College has officially received approval to be an examination second site for the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) IR Part 66 B1-1 written test. It is the first tertiary education provider in this region to obtain such approval.

With the approval, Nilai UC can now officially conduct the exams to meet the requirements of the IR Part 66 Aircraft Maintenance License in all categories. This includes conversion of existing national licences (e.g. from BCAR section L) or extension of basic licence category (e.g. from A1 to B1). This EASA qualification is now the preferred aircraft maintenance qualification in most parts of the world. In short, a person with an EASA licence will be allowed to certify the airworthiness of a commercial aircraft.

The examinations will be held in the last week in the months of January, April and August. All 17 modules will be available at each sitting and the examinations will run for a week (Monday-Saturday) at Nilai UC’s award-winning 105-acre campus.

This examination site approval is under AST Limited, Scotland, a fully approved EASA IR Part 147 Type Training Organisation (Ref: UK. 147.0072). For each successful module, candidates will be awarded a Certificate of Recognition of Approved Examinations, issued by AST. Together with the required maintenance experience, these certificates can be submitted to any EASA competent authority for the Aircraft Maintenance Licence application.

“With this second examination site approval, we will see more working maintenance personnel apply to sit for the exams as they pursue this most coveted of qualifications in the aircraft maintenance industry,” said Kunalan Marimuthu, Nilai UC’s head of Aircraft Maintenance Engineering programme. “Unlike previously, there is now no need for them to travel overseas to sit for the exams. Exam candidates taking the exam at Nilai UC thus stand to save on costs and time.”

The next sitting for the exams are in August and the application form is available from . The forms must be submitted seven weeks before the exams. Refresher courses are available upon request. Please call Kunalan Marimuthu at 06-850 2338 (ext 324) if there are any enquiries.

School leavers interested in carving a career in this industry can sign up for Nilai UC’s very popular Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering which incorporates the EASA Part 66 B1-1 syllabus.

Nilai UC is located in the lush, green suburb of Putra Nilai and is a mere 45-minute drive from Kuala Lumpur City Centre. It is also just a 15-minute drive from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. It was founded in 1997 and offers wide array of programmes ranging from the Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering to Degree in Accounting and Finance. Please visit Nilai UC’s website at or call 06-850 2338 for more information.

Nilai UC and AST - the winning combination

Nilai International University College (NUC) launched its Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering programme on 29Nov 2007. The ceremony was officiated by the Director-General of Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia, Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.

One of the key speakers at the ceremony was Peter Farrow. He is the Chief Executive of Air Services Training (Engineering) Ltd, United Kingdom (AST). Upon receiving the appropriate approvals, AST will be working closely with NUC as an external examiner for the much-vaunted European Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) Part 66 Category B1-1 examinations. Successful NUC students will therefore benefit from having both a Diploma as well as an internationally recognised qualification in the stringent quality assurance environment of aviation.

We caught up with him during his visit to NUC’s award-winning 105-acre campus. He went to great lengths to spell out why his organisation is entering into a partnership with NUC.

How would you describe AST’s role in the partnership with NUC?
Basically, it is to look at the syllabus NUC has put together and we will advise NUC on any issues that may be important; in particular, the Part 66 Licence syllabus. And of course, once the appropriate approval has been given, to deliver the approved European Aviation Safety Agency examinations to students undertaking the diploma at NUC.

You flew 6,000 miles just to be here for the launch. How important is this tie-up with NUC for your organisation?
It’s very important. AST has always had worldwide reach. We’ve always conducted training for international organisations and we’ve had a very large interaction with the Malaysian market since the 1970s. We see this as the natural extension to what we do. We deliver the approved courses in Scotland but it is also important that we take our training delivery out to host nations so they too can benefit from Part 66 training in their own territory. As such, it is particularly important to find the right partner in that country who can aspire to the highest standard required. The AST campus houses around 100 students and demand far exceeds supply. By using other campuses in other organisations around the world, it enables us to offer the training and approved examinations to far more students. Nilai UC meets all these criteria as it has a campus that includes accommodation as well as the proper teaching facilities for conducting this programme.

Is this arrangement between AST and NUC the first of its kind? Will you be seeking to have more similar arrangements in other countries?
It is not the first of its kind but is rather unique. At the moment, AST has tie-ups with other organisations in other countries. Principally though, those are airline’s maintenance organisations who wish their staff to have the Part 66 training and qualifications. However, this is the first time that we have tied the Part 66 with an academic award programme. In a lot of the other organisations, we are teaching the existing engineering staff. What we are looking at here in Malaysia with NUC is the fact that we have fresh school leavers with no experience. They will be the new engineering staff of the future for many of the airline maintenance companies. This is good because rather than recycling current engineering staff, we have a strategy for producing new aircraft maintenance engineering staff.

Please describe what benefits will AST bring to this partnership.
AST was formed in 1934 and since that time we have trained about 15,000 engineers from the entire world. So AST has a long history of in aeronautical engineering, in particular in terms of licencing. What we can bring to this partnership is our reputation of quality and excellence. We also provide the training materials and the expertise that will guide NUC and help them through the early stages. And obviously as we move through this process, NUC itself will gain an expertise. Ultimately, we are hoping that in partnership with NUC we can also offer similar courses to other areas in the Asia Pacific region. So there are benefits for both partners as AST has its reputation, training materials and approvals while NUC is an education institution of great standing within Malaysia and in the region. Like AST, it is independent of any other controls and has an international student body, so really the two organisations sit very well together.

How can you persuade parents that this Aircraft Maintenance Engineering programme is a viable option for their child?
Basically, there are three routes to Aircraft Maintenance Engineering, particularly to licencing. There are students who like to take the Approved Course where they will do two years on an Approved Course and then two years of maintenance experience, then move onto licencing. There those who like to take the sort of programme we have here at NUC, which is a Diploma award programme with the licencing exams as well. There are those who gain employment in the industry and try picking the job as they go a long. Now given that the Approved Course is a very expensive option for many, I feel that the course NUC is delivering here is going to be very useful in that it will give students the necessary skills and knowledge. The NUC programme is a faster track into the industry and it also means that when these students get to the shop floor and hangars, they will have some pre-existing knowledge that they can apply. So I say to parents whose child has decided to go into engineering, in particular the area of aeronautical engineering, this programme offers the best of both worlds. It has academic rigour and will have the benefit of the Part 66 Category Aircraft Maintenance licence examination (pending approval). It is one of the ideal routes to get into the industry.

The EASA Part 66 Category B1-1 qualification is obviously a key selling point of NUC’s programme. How would you stress this aspect to potential students?
EASA is the legal body within Europe that legislates against all aviation matters such as air traffic control, aircraft maintenance, pilots and so on. EASA has brought what is possibly the newest and best licencing system into being. It is aimed at today’s modern aircraft and it doesn’t matter whether they are large airliners, small corporate jets or even some general aviation. It is a certification qualification that is very much of the moment. It is up-to-date. The EASA Part 66 along with the Part 1 for Maintenance is rapidly becoming the world standard for licencing. Thus many countries that align itself with the UK’s British Civil Aviation Regulations (BCAR) system are now converting to the EASA system. It has wide appeal in countries such as China and virtually throughout the entire Asia Pacific region, certainly a lot of the Middle East countries and Europe.
Not only does it add quality and an appropriate standard to the training here, it gives students the opportunity to work outside Malaysia. It is a worldwide industry and this is a worldwide qualification.

As an external examiner, your organisation obviously gives this programme extra credence. Please elaborate.
AST is the approval holder. So AST is approved by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, and of course, by default, EASA. So our role is to make sure that the standards and quality of the exams are consistent and that they represent a fair and accurate description of a student’s level of knowledge. AST and NUC may in the future also decide to move into some delivery of approved training here and perhaps some other areas such as pilot ground school training. This is really just the beginning.

There is a shortage of qualified Aircraft Maintenance personnel worldwide. Why is there such a gap given that most industries will reflect the demand and supply?
The reason for this shortage is two-fold. The industry was in a very slight downturn at the time of Sep11. Also in the Asia Pacific region, there was the SARS epidemic while in the UK there was an outbreak of foot and mouth disease. All these didn’t help the tourism industry and as such, the industry that was already experiencing a slight downturn was driven much deeper into that downturn. Additionally, there was not necessarily the demand for world travel at the time. What we have seen now is an industry in recovery following those tragic events but also an increase need for aviation travel particularly in the Asia Pacific region. The shortage is two-fold as the existing engineer’s age is getting higher and many airlines did not engage in any training of engineers during the downturn. Coupled with the increase in air travel, there is now a huge demand for aircraft maintenance personnel.

In which countries is the demand particularly high?
China has expressed a need for 210,000 aircraft maintenance workers in the next five years. That is an astounding number of jobs. Singapore may be a small country but Singapore International Airlines has 90 aircraft in their fleet. India is also seeing an exponential increase in air travel. Aircraft orders from India for Boeing and Airbus planes are absolutely breathtaking. The Middle East is another region that has shown tremendous growth.

Why would you recommend NUC’s Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering to students and parents?
The main drive is the fact that it does match the Part 66 syllabus, so it gives students a good understanding of the standards of Part 66. (Upon approval) it offers them the ability to take the approved examinations which is an obvious bonus. The programme also offers practical training on operational aircraft. There are many diploma courses that don’t do that and are purely theoretical courses. Most engineers will tell you, a person cannot read a book and be an engineer. In NUC’s Diploma programme, students will be graduating with grease under their fingernails that will allow them to put into practice their theoretical knowledge.

How would you describe the graduate’s prospects?
In the short term, they will find themselves readily employable principally because they will be offering any potential employer a thorough grounding in aircraft maintenance knowledge. With all the Part 66 modules, graduates only need to meet the work experience requirement before they can apply for the engineering licence to be issued. In the longer term, if they opt to do the Bsc degree, graduates can look towards moving into supervisory and managerial positions.

How would you describe the remuneration rewards in this industry?
In most parts of the industry, the salaries for Aircraft Maintenance Engineers would be of a very high order. Good quality engineers with the right certification at the moment are difficult to find. Thus the remuneration is very high for these engineers.

In your expert opinion, what is the best aspect of being involved in this industry as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer?
It is a very dynamic industry. Even the oldest aircraft has the most modern avionics on board. If a person in interested in engineering and aviation, it means they will work with some of the most modern technologies seen anywhere. It gives them the opportunity to assimilate knowledge and gain expertise when an unusual aircraft fault occurs; they can quickly, efficiently and safely sort that out. It is a great buzz to see a plane you have certified as air worthy take off and later the pilot reports that it worked like clockwork. It is a very rewarding career.

Second takeoff

Nilai International University College (Nilai UC) launched its Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering late last year with the debut intake of students in January 2008 far exceeding expectations.

“We had expected a good response but not to the point where we were oversubscribed!” says a visibly proud Kunalan Marimuthu, head of the (AME) programme. “We had to add extra classes and quite a number of students had to be moved to our second intake in March. Thus the second intake is already half-full and we are again expecting a deluge of applications for this highly innovative programme.”

One of the main attractions of Nilai UC’s Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering programme is that it incorporates the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 66 Category B1-1 syllabus. EASA is the centrepiece for the European Union’s strategy for aviation safety and is fast being recognised as the premier safety standard in most parts of the world. Nilai UC is also in the process of obtaining ‘Second Exam Site’ approval from Air Services Training, United Kingdom that is audited by Civil Aviation Authority, UK. This will mean students can sit for the EASA exams at Nilai UC’s campus rather than incur huge expenses to do so overseas as was the case previously.

Successful students will therefore possess both a Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering as well as an EASA certificate which leads towards a full EASA Part 66 Category B1-1 Aircraft Maintenance licence (provided the student completes the required work schedule). A licence holder is permitted to certify the air-worthiness of aircraft following maintenance. This includes aircraft structure, power plant as well as mechanical and electrical systems. The licence holder will also be allowed to change the avionic line replaceable units and conduct simple tests to prove their serviceability.
“In other words, this Part 66 B1-1 licence will give wide coverage of the required basic knowledge on fixed wing aircraft fitted with turbine engines,” says Kunalan.

This two and a half year programme is divided into seven semesters and Nilai UC has also incorporated the all-important practical training for students to gain valuable hands-on experience. Students will be placed in one of the eight industry partners to be gain some first hand knowledge of a real working environment (the industry partners are Berjaya Air Sdn Bhd, Dnest Air Services Sdn Bhd, KLAS DRB-HICOM, Gulf Golden International Flying Academy Sdn Bhd, Subang General Aviation Sdn Bhd and Systematic Aviation Services Sdn Bhd.

“Please let me make it clear that for a person to be a fully-qualified, licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineering personnel he must have passed all the modules exams for the category in our programme as well as having completed the required apprenticeship in all the relevant categories. This process will normally take between two and five years,” explains Kunalan.

The future prospects for students in this programme are very bright considering the current shortage the aviation industry is facing. Coupled with the continued boom in travel and tourism, there is a huge demand for qualified aircraft maintenance personnel. This demand is not just in Malaysia but also worldwide. ”For example, the aviation industry in China is growing at an incredible rate and has announced that it will require an additional 100,000 aircraft maintenance personnel in the next five years,” says Kunalan.

For more information, kindly call 06-8502338 or visit . Do also take the time to visit Nilai UC’s 105-acre award-winning campus located in the picturesque suburb of Putra Nilai during its ‘Discovery Day’ weekend on 22nd and 23rd Mar 2008.

High flying career in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering

Nilai International University College (Nilai UC) launched the Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering programme on 29th Nov 2007. It has high hopes that this programme will be the platform for many students to launch themselves into a high-flying career in aviation.

Kunalan Marimuthu is the programme co-coordinator for this much anticipated programme. He has over 20 years experience in aircraft maintenance coupled with 12 years lecturing in the related field. He has taken the time to answer some of the questions generally encountered regarding this area of study.

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.

For more information, please call 06-8502338 or visit .

Seal of approval

Y.Bhg. Dato’ Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, Direcot General of Department of Civil Aviation's message
It is indeed a momentous occasion to see Nilai International University College (Nilai UC) take its first step into this very important sector of the aviation industry. The travel industry is in robust health and there are more commercial airplanes in the sky than ever before.
This inevitably leads to a greater need form skilled and qualified personnel; not least Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AMEs) who are ultimately responsible in ensuring these aircraft are sky worthy. This region is already experiencing a shortage of such manpower as many experienced AMEs are lured to greener pastures.
It is my hope that programmes such as Nilai UC’s Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering will alleviate this shortage of human resource in the near future. Key to this process of producing such quality personnel is the introduction of the European Aviation Safety Agency Part 66 cat B1-1 syllabus in this diploma programme.
Nilai UC is indeed farsighted in working towards getting the requisite approval to be the ‘Second Site’ for this important examination and it will be a tremendous advantage to successful candidates who acquire this license. It is also important to note that Nilai UC has designed its course structure to meet the transitional change from British Civil Airworthiness Requirements (Licensing) to the EASA format.
Furthermore, Nilai UC’s collaboration with various established industry partners means students will be able to garner invaluable working experience. This will lead to a strong foundation among the students and thus maintain the strict quality as required by the Department of Civil Aviation. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the industry partners who are actively involved in making this Diploma programme a soaring success – Berjaya Air Sdn Bhd, dnest Aviation Services, KLAS DRB-HICOM, Integrated Aviation Academy, Sabah Air and Subang General Aviation Sdn Bhd.
By the year 2015, this industry is forecasted to contribute RM90 billion to the country’s economy. As such, I am pleased that Nilai UC has initiated this Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Diploma programme to help us all move in the right direction – upwards and skywards. I wish Nilai UC, its partners and all prospective students of this innovative programme every success.

The UK connection

There are very few industries that can match the diversity and dynamism of the world wide Air Transport Industry , and by launching this programme today, Nilai International University College (Nilai UC) are playing their part in providing the future engineering workforce for Malaysia and more widely the Asia Pacific region.

The technological advances experienced by today’s modern aircraft, in terms of materials, systems, engines and avionics are breathtaking, and one only has to look at the new Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dream liner to see this. If one looks solely at the cabin entertainment systems, one can see that today’s international traveller is not content with a film, but demands a wide range of entertainment, encompassing at least 40 video presentations and anything up to 200 audio channels, and as international travel becomes the norm, all in a variety of languages.

What is hidden from them are the thousands of components, hundreds of miles of wiring, and many thousands of feet of tubing all required to ensure that the aircraft gets them to their destination safely. Future aircraft, currently still on the drawing board promise even greater advances in terms of their technology, safety, comfort and entertainment.

However, greater complexity requires even greater and wider ranging skills and knowledge from the engineering workforce, and such knowledge and skills cannot simply be learnt in the hangars and workshops, but is based upon thorough and effective training from the outset. To ensure that this aim is met, Nilai UC has taken great care to ensure that its diploma programme matches the knowledge requirements of the Part 66 Aircraft Maintenance Licence, which is rapidly becoming the world standard for the licensing of aircraft maintenance staff.

Such a measure ensures that graduates from the Diploma course will be equipped with the knowledge and enquiring nature to develop a greater understanding of aircraft maintenance, and play a useful and productive part in maintenance activities from the outset of their employment. For my company’s part, we are working closely with Nilai UC to seek approval to deliver Part 66 examinations to students on the Diploma programme, offering further added value and recognition of student knowledge attainment, offering graduates the opportunity to apply for licence issue once the experience requirements are met. Upon successful graduation students may seek immediate employment within a maintenance organisation and there is also the possibility for them to articulate onto the third year of the Bachelor of Science Degree programme in Aircraft Maintenance, delivered in Scotland by Perth College, a major partner in the University of the Highlands and Islands Millennium Institute.

In closing I would like first of all to congratulate the staff of Nilai UC who have developed this innovative programme, and I know that they will ensure it continues to develop and match the needs and aspirations of its students, and the needs of the industry that it serves. Secondly, I would say to any potential student of this programme, that aircraft maintenance is not the easy option, like the diploma programme itself it demands hard work, strong motivation and a willingness to learn new skills and knowledge, but I would also add, that it is a most rewarding career in a most dynamic industry. Whilst pilots and cabin staff are the most visible, and glamorous of airline employees, both passengers and crew place a sacred trust in the unseen engineering staff, entrusting their safety to the skills and professionalism of the engineer.

Upwards & onwards

Tengku Dato' Shamsul Bahrin's (President of Nilai International University College) message

It is with immense pride that I announce the new Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering programme at Nilai International University College (Nilai IUC). As educators, we have always strived to be sensitive to the needs of both the prospective employers as well as the students. The aviation industry is experiencing a tremendous growth and provides huge job opportunities.

In the local context, there is already a desperate shortage of aircraft maintenance engineers. This is partly due to the fact that many are lured away to greener pastures in the Gulf States that are able to pay top dollar, especially those who have overseas qualification and licenses. This shortage is also felt in neighbouring countries such as Singapore, China, India, Indonesia and Australia.

Previously, the normal practice is for a diploma holder to work for a few years before attempting the renowned European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) examinations for the EASA license in Europe (and the United Kingdom). This was a long process and placed considerable financial burden on the applicant.

Nilai IUC’s integrated diploma programme gives you the opportunity to complete the course and EASA examinations at the same time. This is because Nilai IUC is the first private tertiary education institution in Malaysia to adopt the internationally recognised EASA syllabus into its programme and you will be able to sit for this essential examination on campus.

Our Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering is designed to produce skilled personnel with the know-how and ability to maintain large commercial aircraft and with the long-term view of solving the acute shortage of skilled workers in this segment.

At the moment, Malaysia is forced to bring out engineers from India and Europe and it is my fervent hope that Nilai IUC’s programme can help redress this situation.
Let me just take this opportunity to sound out some of the necessary virtues a person needs to have to be involved in aircraft maintenance. For starters, you should not be afraid to get your hands dirty. That means you are a hands-on type of person who excels at solving technical and mechanical problems.
Secondly, you must possess a meticulous attitude as we are talking about the safety of valuable aircraft and human life. Thirdly, you need to be able to absorb information well as there are thousands of moving parts in an aircraft. Last but not least, you must be able to keep abreast of the latest technological innovations occurring in this constantly evolving industry.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our industry partners in making this diploma programme in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering a successful. To all potential candidates, if it is enrichment for life that you are looking for, Nilai IUC is your ticket to soar to greater heights.

Deputy Minister of Transport's Message

Deputy Minister of Transport II’s message for Programme Launch Booklet

It is my great pleasure to launch Nilai International University College’s (Nilai UC) Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering programme. This is a field that is growing at a tremendous rate and skilled personnel are currently at a premium. It is therefore my fervent hope this programme will help ease the acute shortage the aviation industry is facing in this sector.

Also of significance is that private education institutes such as Nilai UC are making an effort to address these shortages thus slowly weaning the aviation industry off its over-reliance on imported talent. Having a skilled and qualified workforce is not just a prerequisite for any thriving industry; it is a major part of nation building.

The Ministry of Transport is fully supportive of programmes that will enhance the safety and quality assurance of the aviation industry.
Needless to say, it would be a huge bonus if this goal were achieved with local talent and through local institutions. The benefits of such a programme is both numerous and obvious.

With the continued growth Malaysia is experiencing in the aviation industry, many school leavers should see this as a golden opportunity for them as far as a rewarding career is concerned. Having a skilled workforce in the aviation industry will not only enhance Malaysia’s reputation as a world-class transportation hub but also reflect the Ministry of Transport’s firm commitment towards building a skilled and technically competent workforce to serve us all.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Official Launch

29 Nov 2007

Soaring to new heights with Nilai International University College

Cyberjaya: Nilai International University College (NUC) launched its Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) today. The Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia, Y.B. Dato’ Azharuddin Abdul Rahman (representing the Deputy Minister of Transport II, YM Tengku Dato’ Seri Azlan Ibni Sultan Abu Bakar), along with NUC’s President Professor Emeritus Tengku Dato’ Shamsul Bahrin, launched this milestone event.

Various aviation industry players, including NUC’s industry partners in this special project, witnessed the launch ceremony. These partners are Berjaya Air Sdn. Bhd., Dnest Aviation Services Sdn. Bhd., Gulf Golden International Flying Academy, KLAS (DRB-HICOM), Integrated Training and Services Sdn. Bhd., Sabah Air Sdn. Bhd., Subang General Aviation Sdn. Bhd. and Systematic Aviation Services Sdn. Bhd.

Tengku Shamsul said there was a pressing need for properly qualified staff in all aspects of AME. “This is a rapidly growing industry and demand for skilled AMEs far outstrips supply.
“Many of our trained engineers are lured to greener pastures in the Gulf States as well as to other neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong which are also facing an acute shortage of trained personnel in aircraft maintenance,” Tengku Shamsul adds.

The Aircraft Maintenance Engineer is the person who decides whether a plane is airworthy. He ensures that the plane is safe and ready to take to the skies with its valuable cargo of human passengers. The AME must be well versed in the maintenance and repair requirements for the aircraft he certifies.

“NUC is proud to offer this opportunity to young, ambitious adults to launch themselves into a high-flying career in this field. Furthermore, in collaboration with Air Service Training (Engineering) Ltd, NUC is seeking approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of the United Kingdom to make NUC a Second Examination site for the internationally recognized European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Examinations. This programme is tailor-made to develop and empower young individuals to be Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers,” Tengku Shamsul continues.

It is still a common practice for aircraft maintenance personnel to work for a few years before going to Europe to sit for the EASA examination. Becoming a Second Examination Site will enable the examinations to be completed at Nilai.

The approval from the Civil Aviation Authority, United Kingdom will allow NUC to add value to its own Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Diploma programme and to offer candidates the opportunity to enter the aviation industry suitably qualified. AME Diploma holders will also be able to continue their studies for a BSc degree in Aircraft Engineering at Perth College, United Kingdom. Whichever path a candidate chooses, he will have gained the essential knowledge for the maintenance of large commercial aircraft.

“At the moment, the aviation industry here is heavily dependent on foreign engineers. Our long-term goal is to populate this industry with local talent. It is my sincere hope that this programme will be a ticket for many to soar to greater heights,” concluded Tengku Shamsul.

First intake for this two year six month course will be in January 2008 and is expected to draw in 80 students per year.

For more information, please go to or call 06-8502338.

Pix left: Peter Farrow (CEO Air Services Training UK), Dato' KH Gan (CEO Nilai UC), Y.B. Dato’ Azharuddin Abdul Rahman (Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, Malaysia) & Tengku Dato' Shamsul Bahrin witnessing the official launch of the Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering programme.

pix above: Peter Farrow & Tengku Dato' Shmasul Bahrin exchanging documents.