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Thursday 17 May 2007: Virgin Blue Airlines will be the first airline in the country to have aircraft maintenance engineers from maintenance providers Virgin Tech and Jetcare certified to new world standards after an initial investment of over $1.2 million in enhanced training.
Following 18 months of close consultation with industry, including Virgin Blue and Aviation Australia, CASA launched a new maintenance and training standards concept earlier this year as part of an ambitious plan to position Australian aircraft engineers at the forefront of global aviation maintenance standards. Australian standards are already considered to be among the best in the world however the new training regime will propel Australian engineers to a new level.
Brisbane based Aviation Australia is the first Australian training organisation to receive CASA approval to provide training under the new standards.
Virgin Blue is the first airline to take advantage of the enhanced training, with a course of 43 engineers undergoing the additional, intensive 15 weeks training. The engineers graduate with internationally recognised B1.1 and B2 Aircraft Engineers certification and they will use that enhanced knowledge to carry out line maintenance across Virgin Blue’s fleet of technologically advanced aircraft.
Virgin Blue operates a fleet of technologically advanced Next Generation Boeing 737 aircraft and is poised to introduce Embraer E-Jets later this year.
Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey, said, “We congratulate Aviation Australia and CASA for their leadership in raising the bar on engineering and maintenance training and certification in Australia. We aim for the highest possible safety standards and enthusiastically took up the opportunity to provide additional world class, best practice training for engineers from our own maintenance providers, Virgin Tech and Jetcare.”
Brett Godfrey added, “While these new standards may be optional, safety will always be our number one priority. As a result we feel that the attainment of this new recommended CASA position is simply a logical imperative.”