§ Lord Gainford
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether there is any evidence of:
- (a) a decline in qualified maintenance technicians and engineers in aviation; and
- (b) increased pressure on existing engineering staff owing to the increase in air traffic. [HL3080]
§ Lord Whitty
The number of people qualified to maintain civil aircraft in the UK does appear to be reducing. This is due to a combination of reductions in manning levels of the armed services, a traditional recruiting ground for such personnel, and in the number of apprenticeships and training places on offer within the aviation industry. However, there is no evidence of a widespread skills shortage in the civil aviation industry other than in some highly specialised areas, for example avionics, where the skills involved are in demand by other industries.
The number of UK licensed maintenance engineers, who certify maintenance work on civil aircraft, has remained relatively constant for several years while during the same period the industry has seen substantial growth. Such engineers therefore must have a greater workload but there is no evidence to suggest that this workload is unmanageable or that it is having any significant effect on the quality of the work carried out.
Public transport aircraft must be maintained by organisations which have been approved in accordance with the requirements set by the Joint Aviation Authorities in JAR-145. A JAR-145 approved maintenance organisation must employ sufficient personnel to plan, perform, supervise and inspect the work in accordance with their approval. The CAA monitor all organisations it has approved under JAR-145 to ensure continued compliance with its requirements.