Students get unique aviation opportunity with Brunei partnership

As part of the agreement, around 20 students will arrive in Perth from the southeast Asian country to study on the UK’s only course still offering graduates the opportunity to work in European airspace.

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Students studying the aircraft engineering course have access to a range of aircraft and helicopters at Perth Airport to ensure they are equipped with a high level of practical skills.

Perth College UHI’s wholly owned partner, Air Service Training (Engineering) Limited, normally known as AST, holds both UK CAA and European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) approvals, allowing the degree programme to be classified as an approved course for producing engineers qualified to maintain UKCAA and EASA registered aircraft both in the UK and across the worldt.

Students on the course are also being given the opportunity to work with Loganair, Scotland’s leading airline, on the latest zero emission technology, which includes ambitious plans to fly electric-powered planes.

The formal partnership with ‘His Majesty’s The Sultan’s Flight’ also has the backing of the Brunei Ministry of Education, giving the country’s students unique access to the University of the Highlands and Islands BSc Hons Aircraft Engineering and Maintenance degree, delivered by Perth College UHI.

Lin Shen, Team Leader International at Perth College UHI said: “His Majesty the Sultan’s Flight (HMSF) was formed in September 1979 as a royal aviation unit to handle all air transport for His Majesty and the Royal Family in Brunei. Now it’s a corporate entity with its own aircraft.

“The Ministry of Education sponsors the students chosen from Brunei to study the engineering course in Scotland and they are then expected to return to Brunei to work as EASA approved aircraft engineers after their graduation.

“The degree is now in its third year, and we have never had an overseas partnership of this scale for this course.

“We are delighted that our degree is receiving international recognition and that we will be playing our part in the recovery of the aviation industry.”

Students studying the aircraft engineering course at Perth College UHI have access to a range of aircraft and helicopters at Perth Airport to ensure they are equipped with a high level of practical skills. Perth College UHI also have a flight simulator.

The course is the only one of its kind in Scotland and students graduating from Perth College UHI will, once sufficient in-industry experience has been logged, become a licensed aircraft engineer, responsible for certifying the work carried out on aircraft, systems, and equipment. It is delivered in conjunction with Air Service Training (Engineering) Ltd, the longest established aviation maintenance training organisation of its type in the world.

Jennifer Brickwood, Sector Development Director at Perth College UHI added: “The course is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society, which is testament to the standard of the programme, and has also been commended for its innovative programme structure.

“We are delighted to be working at a strategic level with Brunei Ministry of Education and His Majesty The Sultan’s Flight and look forward to welcoming the students in the new academic year.”

The course programme has a theme of sustainability running throughout and also includes a module on sustainable aviation which equips students with the skills needed within a transition to a green economy as part of both the UK and Scottish governments net zero targets.

Once students graduate there is an opportunity for some to use the skills learned in their degree to work with Loganair on a range of sustainability projects and contribute to the green economy.

Andy Smith, Head of Sustainability Strategy at Loganair, said: “Loganair’s Greenskies initiative sets a sector leading target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 and we are heavily involved in the development of zero emission airliner technologies covering battery electric, hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels.

“Loganair expects to be amongst the first airlines in Europe to deploy zero emissions aircraft in commercial service and through our long-standing partnership with Perth College UHI, we have been building on our engineering apprenticeship scheme to support students in gaining a technical and commercial understanding of the emerging aviation propulsion technologies”.

In the next major phase of the College’s history, the Aviation Academy for Scotland (AAS) is being created. The aim of this centre is to train people to meet the needs of the whole aviation industry including air traffic control, pilot, engineering and licensed engineer training.

The first stage of the building feasibility study for the Perth development on the Crieff Road campus has been completed, with initial designs drafted to ensure that the new building will deliver the skills for the future of the aviation industry and other engineering sectors.

The AAS project is part of the Tay Cities Deal - a partnership between the UK and Scottish governments along with public and private organisations across Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth and Kinross that together will invest up to £700 million in projects promoting sustainable and inclusive prosperity for the region.