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Aircraft Maintenance Technology - Avionics

Develop skills for the repair and maintenance of complex aircraft cockpit instruments, avionics and aircraft electrical systems.

A  student inspects the underside of an airplane wing.
Start Date:
September
Typical Length:
2 Years
Credential:
Diploma

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Overview

Learn how to repair and maintain electrical and electronic systems for fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. This includes how to service, maintain, repair, overhaul, inspect and test all aircraft systems. Systems include electrical power distribution, communication, navigation, data, autopilot and various instrumentation systems.

Part of this training involves how to safely use and maintain hand tools, as well as specialized and more sophisticated tools and equipment. 

You learn all this from experienced faculty while working in a hangar on a variety of aircraft, including small and medium-sized planes, helicopters, drones and components from larger aircraft. 

This program is located at NSCC's Aviation Institute (Dartmouth Gate) and is part of Ivany Campus.

Choose NSCC

  • NSCC is recognized as an authorized training organization by Transport Canada (TC) and approved to deliver specific programs of study leading to certification as an Aviation Maintenance Engineer (AME). Graduates who meet TC training standards qualify for 18 months of credit towards the total 48 months required for a licence with an “E” rating, which is associated with an aircraft electronics (avionics) specialty.
  • Your faculty have strong industry connections and provide opportunities to learn from industry experts in specialized areas of study.
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work in industry. To prepare for employment, you participate in safety awareness courses.

Other info

  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official criminal record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.
  • Program attendance is tracked in accordance with Transport Canada’s policy for Approved Training Organizations. To preserve a high standard of maintenance and flight safety, students who miss more than 5 per cent of the program through absences will not qualify for the experience credit.
  • If you’re chemically sensitive, it’s important to note that chemicals (including fuels, hydraulic fluids and other chemical compound products) are commonly used by Avionics Technicians.

2023-24 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

September 2023

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus Classes at Aviation Institute Full time In person Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Seats available

Admission requirements

  • High School Graduation Diploma or equivalent, including Academic Grade 12 Math.
    • International students – High school diploma equivalency and English language requirements vary by country. View details 
  • If you do not have the required academic credits, NSCC offers a variety of credit courses through the Academic and Career Connections program.

Program requirements

  • Portfolio development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.

Tuition

Tuition amounts are for the 2022-23 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional. 2023-24 tuition will be announced in the late Spring.

Tuition (Domestic):
$9,000
Tuition (International):
$11,690

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.
 

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Become an aircraft maintenance technician with an electronics (avionics) specialization. 
  • Work for various airlines, aircraft manufacturers, avionics shops and repair/overhaul facilities throughout North America and around the world.
  • As an avionics technician you have the skills to: 
    • assess faults in aircraft electrical, communication, navigation and data systems
    • troubleshoot, repair, modify and replace aircraft system components
    • create and install wire harnessing for Avionics/Aircraft Systems
    • work in repair and overhaul shops; and service and test electrical, electronic and instrument components
  • Skills learned can also be used in various industries, which include power generation, electronics, hydraulics and pneumatics.
  • Learn more about labour market information – visit Career Options.

Future study options

  • Continue your studies at university – This program includes courses that count towards a university degree. Find out more

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

AMTE 1450 - Basic Electricity - Direct Current
This course will introduce the learner to the use of Direct Current (DC) electricity, from the theory and safety aspects of working with DC in the lab and on the aircraft. The learner will describe the physical properties of the various DC electrical components, and learn what voltage, current and resistance are in an electrical circuit. The learner will be performing calculations to predict the effects of the various components in the various series and parallel circuits, based on Ohm’s and Kirchhoff’s Laws. The learner will construct various circuits, calculate and measure the values, to verify the various the electrical theories, like Ohm’s Law and Kirchhoff’s Laws.

AMTE 1460 - Basic Electricity - Alternating Current
This course will introduce the learner to the use of Alternating Current (AC), from the theory and safety aspects of working with AC on the aircraft. Learners will explore the physical properties of the various AC electrical components, and learn about voltage, current and resistance in an electrical circuit. They will be expanding on the material covered in the Direct Current course, and how AC differs from DC. Those concepts will be expanded by adding inductors and capacitors and how they affect the delivery of power. Learners will also be performing calculations to predict the effects of the various components in the various series and parallel circuits. They will then construct various circuits, measure the values, to verify the various the electrical theories, like Ohm’s Law and Kirchhoff’s Laws.

AMTE 1470 - Avionics I
This course introduces the learner to various aircraft communication related avionics systems, their components and interconnections. Topics include radio theory as it pertains to communications systems, cockpit voice and flight data recorders, emergency locator transmitters, and audio integration systems. Learners are given the opportunity to remove, install, inspect, maintain, troubleshoot, and test various avionics communication systems and components.

AMTE 1480 - Aircraft Electrical Systems I
The learner is given the opportunity to troubleshoot electrical systems using schematics and to test, troubleshoot, repair, adjust, remove and replace electrical components. This course covers circuit installation and wiring practices, circuit control and protection devices, power supply and generation, power distribution, electrical motor systems, landing gear electrical systems, and warning and lighting systems.

AMTE 1495 - Analog Electronics for Avionics I
This course introduces advanced solid-state electronics, construction and operation of various diodes and transistors. The learner is given the opportunity to explore applications of diodes and transistors such as rectifier, power supply, and amplifier circuits, and special purpose diodes.

AMTE 1507 - Automated Flight Systems
This course is designed to give the foundational knowledge to test, troubleshoot and repair automated flight systems. The learner is introduced to the principles of aircraft automatic flight control. The automatic flight control system, components, and operation checks are discussed.

AMTE 2110 - Aircraft Electrical Systems II (Avionics)
This second level course in aircraft electrical systems builds on the common foundational course with skill and knowledge levels specific to the Avionics stream. The learner is given the opportunity to troubleshoot aircraft AC electrical systems using schematics and to test, troubleshoot, repair, adjust, remove and replace electrical components.

AMTE 2120 - Aircraft Digital Electronics
The learner is introduced to the avionics data bus and logic systems, controls and displays including number systems, logic gate functions, integrated circuits and digital systems integrated on modern aircraft and avionic systems. By the end of the course, the learner will have practice in constructing, analyzing and troubleshooting basic digital circuits.

AMTE 2130 - Aircraft Communications Systems I
This course introduces electronic communications theory and processes for the installation, maintenance and repair of aircraft communications systems. The learner is also introduced to aircraft audio systems and test aircraft communications equipment including interphone, VHF FM, VHF/UHF FM, HF, Emergency Locator Transmitter, passenger entertainment systems, and radiotelephone.

AMTE 2140 - Aircraft Navigation I
Learners are introduced to the VHF Omni-range Navigation System, Area Navigation, and Satellite Navigation Global Positioning systems. Much of the learner’s time is focused on the testing and installation of avionics navigation systems .

AMTE 2210 - Wiring and Tooling
This course concentrates primarily on practical work as the learner reinforces skills and knowledge previously learned during other courses as well new skills presented during this course. With a focus on safety, the learner performs electrical system/wiring maintenance, installation, inspection, tooling, fabrication and repair of wiring harnesses in accordance with the appropriate legal and technical documents supplied from government regulating bodies and the aircraft manufacturers.

AMTE 2220 - Aircraft Instruments
This course provides an introduction to aircraft instruments and instrument systems including pressure measuring instruments, temperature measuring instruments, gyroscopic instruments,magnetic compasses, electronic display and indication instruments, electrical flight instruments, and systems instruments. Learners will identify and explore the operation of various instruments and will have an opportunity to remove and install, test and repair a variety of aircraft instruments.

AMTE 2230 - Aircraft Communications Systems II
Building on the theory and skills of the Aircraft Communications Systems I course, the learner installs, troubleshoots, analyzes operation, and performs maintenance on aircraft communications systems.

AMTE 2240 - Aircraft Navigation II
The course introduces learners to microwave/doppler principles and pulsed aircraft navigation systems, including installation and testing considerations. Systems to be explored may include Air Traffic Control (ATC) transponders, airborne Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) systems, Weather Radar, Radio Altimeters, Traffic Collision Avoidance System(TCAS) and Ground Proximity Warning System(GPWS).

AMTE 2450 - Analog Electronics for Avionics II
This is the second course in solid state electronics. The learner is introduced to Field Effect transistors, operational amplifiers, filters, oscillators, voltage regulation circuits and special purpose diodes. By the end of this course learners will have practiced construction, analysis and troubleshooting of various analog electronic circuits.

AMTG 1160 - Aircraft Systems Foundations I
Learners will be introduced to key principles of operation and components of various aircraft systems including fuel, ice and rain protection, fire protection, environmental, and emergency equipment. Ice formation and its effects on aircraft operations are also discussed and learnerswill have an opportunity to perform fuel system servicing.

AMTG 1610 - Safety Foundations
In this common safety foundations course, the learner is introduced to the basic requirements for safety in aviation. The course introduces many aspects that will be reinforced throughout the program. During this course, learners will explore the broader implications of “airworthiness” and the initial elements of the Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARS) that outlines the responsibility of Aircraft Mechanical Engineers to certify the safety of aircraft. Learners will also undertake basic safety training in confined space, hazard ID, fall arrest, lockout/tag-out and other operational and occupational health and safety practices and protocols. Please note that specific outcomes of confined space, hazard ID, fall arrest, lock-out/tag-out, OH&S, and WHMIS are included in the specific non-credit course outlines included in the program curriculum. Note: Successful completion is a requirement for participation in shop activities in other courses. In addition, proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is mandatory for attendance.

AMTG 1620 - Shop Practices
This course introduces the learner to the safe use of basic hand and power tools. The learner is given opportunity to work with these tools in a shop environment and is expected to demonstrate safe working techniques. The students will be instructed in and demonstrate to the instructors various Safe Work Procedures (SWP), for the use of various hand and power tools used in the shops. The learner is also introduced to the standards and specifications of aircraft hardware. Threaded and non-threaded fasteners and related safety devices, fluid lines, fittings, and cable fittings are also covered in this course.

AMTG 1630 - Theory of Flight and Flight Controls
The course covers basic physics, properties of atmosphere, aircraft design and aerodynamics. The learner is introduced to forces and axes of flight, control, and stability of aircraft including high-speed flight. The learner is introduced to aerodynamic terminology, rotor designs and forces acting upon the rotors. Autorotation, ground resonance, and stability are discussed. The course will be delivered using a variety of methods that may including discussion, presentations, demonstrations and exploration of school aircraft and equipment.

AMTG 1640 - Aircraft Maintenance Management Essentials
This course is designed to introduce learners to the basic regulations regarding expectations and responsibilities of aircraft maintenance personnel – particularly the Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (AME) and the approved maintenance organizations (AMO) they work for. In addition to intensive review of Section V of the regulations, discussion and lectures from industry guests will help to impress on the learner the serious responsibility of the AME in ensuring safety and work quality in shop, and how the regulations, documentation, publications and rigorous processes create continuous and comprehensive quality assurance in aircraft maintenance. Various critical documents such as maintenance release forms, service logs, maintenance schedules and related paperwork will be explored.

AMTG 1650 - Regulations and Publications
This course will complete the review of Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs) and the acquisition, interpretation, use and maintenance of publications and maintenance documentation. Discussion of Parts VI and VII of the CARs regulations and further examination of publications and maintenance documents will be supplemented with a full review of both important areas of preparation for AME licensing.

AMTG 1660 - Professionalism and Human Factors
This course will include the full Human Factors course, as approved by TC as well as a section on professionalism to include personal responsibility, work ethic, and notions of entrepreneurism from the point of view of taking personal responsibility and understanding the economic and business impacts of your one's own performance. It will also include practice in developing and presenting the learning portfolio. Through a career development plan, learners will identify how they will commit to mature and grow in their professional development.

AMTG 2100 - Innovations in Aviation
As an alternative to an "open" elective, this course will use Topics as a way to allow a student to select an area of interest for individual study. The topics will include a limited list each year (which faculty will change or add to each year) to include things like: Drone Servicing; Aviation Industry Trends; Emerging Technologies; Alternate Power Systems (hybrid); etc.

AMTM 1130 - Propulsion Foundations
The course introduces learners to the history, development, theory, construction and operation of reciprocating and gas turbine engines as well as basic propeller theory and fuel application. Engine types, components and accessories will be covered in detail. Propulsion principles, instrumentation, and the theory, construction, design and operating fundamentals of the engines, propellers and associated systems are discussed. The course will be delivered using a variety of methods that may including discussion, presentations, demonstrations and exploration of school aircraft and equipment.

AMTM 1140 - Servicing and Ground Handling
Learners are given the opportunity to practice ground handling and marshalling techniques with an emphasis placed on safety precautions. There is practical application of hoisting, jacking, tying down and mooring of aircraft. Helicopter external load equipment is discussed.

AMTM 1180 - Hydraulics, Pneumatics, and Landing Gear Systems Foundations
Learners will be introduced to key principles of operation and components of hydraulic, pneumatic, and landing gear systems. Classifications, properties and use of grease and hydraulic fluids will be discussed. Students will have an opportunity to service hydraulic systems using powered ground support equipment.

AMTS 1150 - Materials and Structures
The learner is introduced to the physical properties of materials used in aircraft construction. Corrosion, treatment processes and identification coding systems as well as the basics of aircraft construction, stress and load distribution are discussed. Learners will perform basic sheet metal repairs including layout, cutting, bending, forming, drilling, structural inspection and installation of rivets and special fasteners.

COMM 1110 - Technical Communications for Aircraft Maintenance Technology
This course introduces learners to the importance of clear and effective communication and of developing skills in all forms of communication in aircraft maintenance environments. The course will introduce the notions of transactional communications and identify the many media of communications that are critical to the work – verbal, and non-verbal, print publications, and graphic communications including aircraft drawings and blueprints.

MATH 1090 - Applied Mathematics I
This foundational level of applied mathematics course covers mathematics concepts that are valuable to all aircraft mechanical engineers, regardless of their specialty. With an introduction to precision measuring instruments, the course will cover fundamentals of measurement such as number systems and fractions including their application in measuring and/or estimating distance, weight, displacement, balance and related concepts. Supporting the application, learners will refresh or reinforce their understanding of basic mathematic functions and operations, fractions, decimals, numbering and measuring systems. The course will also include an introduction to Boolean logic to support troubleshooting and problem-solving.

MATH 1095 - Applied Mathematics II
This applied mathematics course covers mathematics concepts that are valuable to Avionics AME’s. This course will refresh and introduce many of the mathematical functions, required to carry out more complex math. This math is used for the calculating the electronic values in more complicated Avionics circuits. This course will introduce/reinforce these concepts complex numbers (real and imaginary), trigonometry, number systems(switching base systems like decimal to Binary, Octal and Hexadecimal), Logarithmic and natural logarithmic numbers and calculations, Exponents, Scientific and Engineering notations and prefixes, as used in electronics, Volume and Area calculations. These will be required for the upcoming electronic courses.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1020 - Introduction to Confined Space
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with confined spaces. The definition and associated hazards of confined space are discussed as well as methods of confined space rescue. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Introduction to Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1022 - Introduction to Fall Arrest and Protection
The learner is introduced to fall protection, fall prevention and fall arrest concepts and responsibilities at the workplace. Guardrails, travel restraints, roof work, fall arrest components will be discussed and the learner will be given the opportunity to demonstrate the use of selected equipment. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1023 - Introduction to Lock-out Tag Out
Lock-out Tag Out introduces the learner to the hazards related to energized systems and procedures to ensure worker safety. Related legislation and risk management is discussed and the learner is exposed to the various types of lock-out devices. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

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