Students interested in the airline business now have a choice of two ground breaking courses.
Dublin City University (DCU)launched an Honours degree BSC in Aviation Management With Pilot Studies last September while Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) is offering a Level 7BEngTech in Aviation Technology this year.
For Andrew Power, who wanted to be a pilot from the age of three, the arrival of the DCU programme could not have been more opportune.
“It was a bit of a miracle”says the 19- year-old from Raheny, Dublin, one of the 29 students of the inaugural BSc in Aviation Management with Pilot Studies, the first of its kind in Ireland
In their first two years in college, students cover a range of subjects including economics and accounting, following which they under take an eight month work placement.
They return to college in the second half of third year, and in fourth year they have a choice of specialising in aviation management or training to become a pilot.
Pilot training, which may be done in Ireland or abroad, is done at considerable extra cost, possibly in the region of up to €100,000, and Andrew hopes that, by the time he reaches that stage, airlines will have come on board with sponsorship.
He says he is very conscious that pilots can lose their licence at short notice and so is thrilled that he will leave DCU not only with his wings, but with additional career skills.
Meanwhile, this year, for the first time, students can apply through the CAO for Aviation Technology at DIT. A group of nine mature students currently studying on the programme will graduate next summer. They all were previously employed by SRTechnics, the former aircraft maintenance company at Dublin Airport, and by various airlines, and based on their experience went straight into third year.
Former SRTechnics employee, Jim Maguinness, who has 20 years experience working in aircraft overhaul said: “This has given me the opportunity to gain wider recognition of my learning. This qualification will open doors to a wider range of positions in the aviation industry.
Declan Allen, Head of Transport Engineering in DIT said the degree offered a combination of management, business and technology studies that were ideally suited to the wide range of technical, administrative, supervisory and management roles inaviation.