Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – This week, Etihad welcomed its first graduates from the Aircraft Mechanics Development Programme, after successfully receiving the Category A in Aircraft Maintenance license, approved by the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
Eight UAE national aircraft mechanics, half of whom were female, were recognised at a graduation ceremony held at Etihad Engineering’s hangar. They have completed a two-year programme including theoretical classes and practical workshops. The engineers gained in-depth practical experience in various aircraft maintenance areas, working at the Etihad Engineering facility near to Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Commenting on the event, Dr Nadia Bastaki, Chief Human Resources, Organisational Development & Asset Management Officer at Etihad, said: “After careful analysis of the workforce demands at Etihad, critical roles were defined within the organisation, and one of the key roles is the aircraft mechanic. As a result, the Aircraft Maintenance Programme was introduced in 2019, aiming to develop skilled Emirati mechanics who will play a pivotal role in maintaining the safety and efficiency of Etihad Airways’ ﬂeet.
“We are very fortunate to have eight qualified joiners in our cadre of UAE national graduates, and very proud that half of this technical batch are UAE National females. I’d like to welcome them to our Etihad family and look forward to their achievements and progression as they take their first steps in the aviation industry. This programme has been very successful, and we currently have 30 trainees in the pipeline. This is a great opportunity for individuals with strong technical skills and an interest in taking a hands-on role in the national carrier of the UAE.”
The programme includes up to 24 months of foundational Maths, Science and English studies at Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), including 13 months of on-the-job training. After several intensive assessments and completion of the GCAA logbook, the aircraft mechanics receive their “release to service” Category A license from the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
By obtaining CAT A qualification, the mechanics are eligible to progress towards the Aircraft Technician level upon completing two years of work experience, and then progress their way up to Aircraft Engineer after gaining more experience and undergoing specialised examinations.