World-wide, the business of aircraft maintenance is enormous, and is set to expand. The approximate number of aeroplanes currently in service world-wide is around 500,000 passenger and cargo aircraft and about four million smaller private aircraft used for business or pleasure.
India is one of the fastest developing countries in the world. Due to the liberalisation policies of the government, there is tremendous growth in civil aviation. Many private airlines and corporations viz., Air India, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Air Sahara and Air Deccan are operating today with very good operating revenues. To meet the growing need of the passenger airlines, cargo aircrafts, private air taxi operators, business and corporate jets, there exists an urgent need for aircraft maintenance engineers.
The aviation industry has two main branches: flying branch and maintenance branch. While pilots fly the aircraft, aircraft maintenance engineers are concerned with the maintenance of the aircraft. An aircraft maintenance engineer has to obtain a licence from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
An aircraft maintenance engineer is responsible for the control, maintenance and repair of specialised aircraft instrumentation and related parts of the aircraft. They also learn to set engine controls and to test for their correct functioning. They play a major role among the maintenance personnel to keep the aircraft ‘airworthy’ at all times. The maintenance of modern sophisticated aircrafts calls for high degree of technical knowledge, competence, proficiency, dexterity and integrity on part of the concerned personnel. Aircraft engineers research, design, manufacture and maintain aircraft. They work on any and every mechanical aspect of the craft, including airframes, hydraulics and pneumatics, engines and fuel systems and control and communications systems.