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Alliance Maintenance Services Program Takes Flight in Training Aircraft Engineers

The aviation industry's ever-evolving landscape has created a large demand for skilled aircraft maintenance engineers.

The aviation industry's ever-evolving landscape has created a large demand for skilled aircraft maintenance engineers. Addressing this need head-on, the program developed by Alliance Maintenance Services at the Thompson Regional Airport has swiftly emerged as a frontrunner, equipping students with hands-on training and expertise essential for excelling in this crucial field.  With remarkable progress and a steadfast commitment to shaping the future of aircraft maintenance in Canada, the program is poised to leave a lasting impact on the industry and the region at large.


Alliance Maintenance Services has successfully completed its first class of training aircraft maintenance workers and is eager to embrace a promising future. The training, based at the airport's hangar, amalgamates the maintenance departments of Calm Air, Perimeter, and Alliance Maintenance “Basic Training with Aircraft specific material.”


A critical component of the aircraft maintenance trade is the educational requirement mandated by Transport Canada. The program, known as AMS Arotech Training, delivers a fundamental training outline specified by Transport Canada, encompassing all the essential systems of an aircraft.


Jason Fryza, Director of Quality Safety and Training at Alliance Maintenance Services, expressed his excitement in venturing out on this new program and his passion for sharing his knowledge with aspiring students, “We’re getting them started in the aircraft maintenance career, It’s a third option for people in the North who may find it difficult to travel away from home”


Recognizing the pressing need to recruit more aircraft maintenance engineers and acknowledging the nationwide shortage of such professionals, the company took the initiative to build its own team to tackle this challenge.


The current national statistic for aircraft maintenance engineers in Canada plummets to a historic low of only 17,000 in total, with half projected to retire within the next 10 years, followed by a further halving of that number in the subsequent five years.


The training encompasses a wide array of engines and aircraft types, including turbine and piston engines. It also delves into the history of engines, electric and hydraulic systems, avionics modules, and helicopter systems.


The program recently celebrated the graduation of its first four students who completed their maintenance training. Another class is scheduled for July, with an estimated 6 to 8 students expected to participate.


Drawing from two decades of experience as an aircraft maintenance engineer, Fryza noted, “It’s always been a very busy airport, and it’s getting busier, and I think they’re expecting it to get even busier as they build this new facility.”


With the growing bustle, the company has recruited 35 mechanics in the past year, aiming to cultivate talent from scratch to sustain this growth. Their focus is on recruiting individuals with no prior experience but possess a willingness to learn and a keen interest in the program.


Fryza stressed the value of their new program aside from the airport’s needs, but the benefits they offer to upcoming mechanics; “The program not only provides people with the basic training they need to become an engineer, but we’re also infusing it with information and data specific to our aircraft and teaching them how to do the job before they get deployed”


The daunting task of building the program from the ground up involved formulating curriculums and identifying hands-on training facilities. However, it wasn't until they assembled their instructors that significant momentum began to build.


“We’ve learned a lot this past year and we look forward to jumping into a new session and refining it even more” Fryza concluded, as they are anticipating new classes to begin again in July 2024 and January 2025.


In its inaugural year, the program has achieved remarkable progress and is poised for sustained success in training the next generation of aircraft maintenance engineers. With an emphasis on hands-on training and addressing the nationwide shortage of professionals in the field, the program developed by Alliance Maintenance is not only imparting essential skills but also contributing to the economic growth of the region. As they prepare for upcoming classes and recruitment drives, the program is primed to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of aircraft maintenance in Canada.

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