Nilai University Aircraft Maintenance Engineering student shares his OJT experience at Air Asia X

Johnathan Robert Cox studying the Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering at Nilai University

Johnathan Robert Cox studying the Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering at Nilai University

Having hands on training with a well respected industry partner is like obtaining a visa to a high flying career on a graduate’s employability passport. Hence, a six-month On-The-Job-Training (OJT) with industry partners is built into the syllabus of the Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering at Nilai University (Nilai U). This is in addition to the practical experience that students attain working on two aircraft at Nilai U’s purpose built hangar. However, it is the OJT which is the crucial bridge between theoretical lessons and the real working world.

“Although this is OJT, we are treated as part of the real ground crew who operating on live aircraft. This means we only have an hour to complete our tasks between the airplane landings and taking off. Within this critical interval we have to complete the assigned tasks, such as refueling, tyre changes and charges, and accumulator charge, among many other checkups,” reveals Jonathan Robert Cox. He is one of the many Nilai University’s Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering students undergoing OJT at AirAsia X Sdn Bhd (AirAsia X) in the Low Cost Carrier Terminal, Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Since its establishment in 2007, AirAsia X has grown into Asia’s largest low-cost

Johnathan Robert Cox, a Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering at Nilai University, at his OJT site, Air Asia X.

Johnathan Robert Cox, a Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering at Nilai University, at his OJT site, Air Asia X.

carrier and is one of Nilai University’s industry partners. “Due to the rapid pace of our company, we expect students to be fast learners and voluntarily involved with the work. Logically, it is only reasonable that they learn to take some responsibilities on their shoulders,” explained Kusnizam Khusairi, Quality Assurance Inspector of AirAsia X. He is part of them responsible team for the intake of trainees from Nilai University and other institutions. “We believe that every student deserves a hands-on OJT. Our approach is to include the students as part of the real team. This way they will have to adapt to the brisk working environment where precision is priority. We can’t afford any mistake because we are dealing with people’s lives.”

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“The experience of working on live aircraft is priceless on a graduate’s résumé,” states Nilai Uni Air AsiaEnawar Alias, a duty engineer in AirAsia X. “We have hired many Nilai U students in the past few years, some even before their graduation. They are those who receive good reviews from their duty technician and engineer. A successful aircraft engineer is made up of these – solid knowledge foundation, curiosity, and meticulousness,” said the AirAsia X senior staff who is part of the interviewer panel for the airline company’s new employment.

Jonathan says the hands-on experience is invaluable and is what makes an individual in

Nilai University is the only institution with its own Hangar and airplanes for her students to work on for the Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering

Nilai University is the only institution with its own Hangar and airplanes for her students to work on for the Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering

this field technically savvy. “Some trainees get less opportunity to deal with the real-life challenges on-site in this industry, but here at AirAsia X, we essentially live the aircraft maintenance crew life,” he states matter-of-fact. “The whole team is divided into four shifts with around 20 crews in each. There will be shift rotation for each will cover 12 hours of work.”

It is the ultimate dream for many of the young men and women in this field to become fully licensed aircraft maintenance engineers. Only a fully licensed engineer can certify a multi-million Ringgit aircraft airworthy. Crucially, Nilai U’s Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering prepares students for the all-important European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) B1-1 examinations.

Hangar at Nilai University

Hangar at Nilai University

“My strategy after this is to get my license as soon as possible,” states Jonathan. He was referring to the passing of the EASA exams and getting the five years’ work experience necessary for him to get his EASA license. However, the 21-year-old Sarawakian has not dismissed the idea of furthering his studies. “I am also considering to further my studies to Nilai U’s Advanced Diploma in Aircraft Engineering since successful graduates will also receive a BSc (Hons) in Aircraft Engineering from Kingston University, United Kingdom,” says Jonathan. But for the moment he is busy absorbing the valuable lessons of his OJT alongside many of his Nilai U peers. “This is a dream come true for me as I have always been fascinated by planes since an early age. Getting to work in a field which I have a deep passion for is absolutely fantastic,” he exhorts.

OJT Partners with Nilai University's Aircraft Maintenance Programme

OJT Partners with Nilai University’s Aircraft Maintenance Programme

Kingston University, UK has recognised that the syllabi of Nilai University’s Diploma in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering and Advanced Diploma in Aircraft Engineering programmes is similar to its degree programme. Once candidates successfully complete both Nilai University programmes and the relevant bridging modules, they will be awarded an internationally-recognised BSc (Hons) in Aircraft Engineering from Kingston University, UK. They will also have the option of pursuing a Masters in Aircraft Engineering at Kingston University.

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"EduSpiral provided me with good advise on where to study Aircraft Maintenance Engineering & arranged for the scholarship interview for me too." Wai Hoe, Full Scholarship at Nilai University

“EduSpiral provided me with good advise on where to study Aircraft Maintenance Engineering & arranged for the scholarship interview for me too.”
Wai Hoe, Full Scholarship at Nilai University

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