Heston MRO Expands Technical Training Program

Credit: Heston MRO

Heston MRO is growing its Part 147 training capability as part of its plans to boost its future workforce pipeline. It has been granted new approvals by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to offer training courses for a variety of additional aircraft and engine types.

The new training capabilities include theory and practical courses, full type rating and differences training for Airbus A320 family, Boeing 737NG and Boeing 787 aircraft, as well as their associated engines. It will begin offering the approved courses on a scheduled and on-demand basis over the coming months, starting with 787 and 737 MAX differences training.

According to Colin de Souza, engineering training manager at Heston MRO, the new courses will keep students current on the new-generation aircraft flying in Australia as fleets modernize and upgrade.

“Being an independent MRO, we are driven by the modern technologies and have to be one step in front to be competitive,” says de Souza. “Part 147 training school in-house gives us flexibility to upskill our own staff, as well as forecast and capture the training opportunities for the individual students and third parties in the aviation skills market in Australia.”

The new CASA Part 147 approvals include the ability to deliver theoretical training via virtual classrooms, which Heston MRO says provides a cost-effective option for interstate and international students. It has been offering virtual training since it first rolled out Part 147 capability in April 2020. At the time, it was focused on Airbus A318/A319/A320/A321 ceo and neo aircraft.

According to de Souza, the virtual component of its Part 147 program covers its main hubs, and the locations for practical training elements will differ depending on where specific fleet types reside. It first began offering practical training in April 2021 at its Perth facilities.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down training progress, de Souza says Heston MRO delivered eight courses with 50 students over the past year under its Part 147 and Part 145 programs. “With the market recovery and our training capability expanded, we project a heavy increase in demand in [the second half of 2022] and even higher volume as we get our A350, 787 and A330ceo-to-neo conversion approved by CASA, expected by the end of this year,” he adds.

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for AviationWeek.com, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.