MRO Europe

TAP’s Two-Prong Approach to Mechanic Demand

Training program has produced more than 800 mechanics since 1987.

TAP Maintenance & Engineering will celebrate its 30th anniversary of ab initio training for mechanics in November, which is a milestone for its EASA pat 147 training school in Portugal. Filipe Morais de Almeida, the MRO’s VP innovation and development, says this program will have produced 825 mechanics since it started in November 1987—about 40 per year.

The airline MRO’s training school, which received its EASA Part 147 in December 2005, offers basic training (A, B1.1, B2) as well as type training (Airbus A310, A320, A330, A340).

While TAP can meet its mechanics needs, the airline is proactively promoting the mechanic career through a Portuguese aviation industry program. The goal is to create a training standard for airplane mechanics that is integrated into the National Catalogue of Qualifications and Vocational Education and Training System (ANQEP).

As outlined now, the proposed new framework would enable students age 15-17 to start aircraft mechanic ab initio training, which would provide maintenance education as part of the national offerings, which would save students money because the government would be paying for it as part of the national curriculum.

“You need to give students a career path,” says Morais, who has high expectations for this program, which could take another 1-2 years to come to fruition.

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