Licensed maintenance technicians and engineers are only licensed to work on specific aircraft for which they have trained and been approved to support. As such, it’s important that they stay up to date on new aircraft types and technologies.
From a company perspective, Jet Aviation is committed to supporting all aircraft types and has always invested in its employees and supported aircraft type maintenance training in part or whole. Training costs can be significant, especially when factoring in travel, and an investment of this magnitude is never undertaken lightly. As such only about 20 employees are handpicked per year for the privilege. Unfortunately, COVID brought a sudden stop to our trainings last year — at least until alternatives were developed.
“Travel bans and restrictions had an immediate impact on our training plan, making it very difficult to ensure our schedule, so we agreed to give online training a try. This also meant that we could coordinate a training between our facilities.”
Laurent Schnoebelen, Director Operations and Technical Training in Basel, explains what they did to overcome the challenges Covid introduced. “Travel bans and restrictions had an immediate impact on our training plan, making it very difficult to ensure our schedule. At first, we tried to bring the trainer to us on-site. As that also had to be rescheduled, we began working with the trainers as well as other companies to develop a viable solution. Everyone had something at stake and was open to ideas, and we agreed to give online training a try.”
“It occurred to me that we could coordinate a training with our Geneva and Dubai facilities, so our first virtual training included 6 Basel engineers, 2 from Geneva and 2 from Dubai — all on the same course training virtually at the same time! We’d usually just send one or two engineers from Basel for such a course, so this alone was quite remarkable, but when you factor in the cost-savings and other practicalities, it was astonishingly efficient. Previously, even if we had a trainer come to us, we still had to rent a training room at SWISS.
“With the online training, we saved all the travel time and costs, secured higher training rates and were even able to negotiate a better tuition rate per participant due to the volume of training we do. We trained 59 engineers in Basel alone last year, where we typically would have done half that amount!!”
The virtual type training is a wonderful example of how our on-line communication tools are benefitting the company, our employees, partners and customers. The next training will commence on January 11, 2021, together with SR Technics, on the B787. Eight Basel engineers will participate. Moving forward, Laurent is working with Prabhat Gummadi and Guillaume Hamez, our maintenance directors in Dubai and Geneva, respectively, to establish an EMEA Training Center through which all future trainings will be coordinated.
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