Kansas State University’s Polytechnic Campus is launching a professional development programme focused on the understanding and application of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and processes used in aircraft type and production certification.

The first intake will begin their studies in January 2018 with an introductory course that provides an overview of the basic elements of the certification process, such as airframe, engine and aircraft components.

The next two courses, aircraft type and aircraft production, are considered electives and can both be taken, or students can choose just one area of focus. Aircraft type covers a detailed examination of the design data process leading to issuing an airworthiness certificate, while aircraft production explores the fundamentals of showing how products conform to an approved type design. These two courses will be announced in spring 2018 and offered in summer and fall 2018.

The final course will require students to apply their education from the previous courses to create a specialised project.

After completion, which can be achieved in one year, students will receive a certificate from Kansas State Polytechnic's professional education and outreach office and then have the opportunity to earn a total of 180 professional development hours.

The programme offers a combination of online and in-person training. The online portion of each class is seven weeks and at the end of each, students will attend three days of classes at the National Center for Aviation Training at Wichita Area Technical College.

Larry Van Dyke, who has more than 45 years of experience in aircraft design, certification and aircraft project management, will serve as the instructor for the introduction course. Rangan Ramasamy, who has more than 25 years of experience in product safety, aircraft and system engineering design certification, will instruct the type course.

“Aviation has been a cornerstone of this campus for more than 50 years and we're proud to be able to build on our history while providing expertise to fill a need in the industry,” explained Kurt Barnhart, Associate Dean of Research and Engagement for Kansas State Polytechnic. “There are emerging holes between professionals new to aircraft certification and those that have been on the job for numerous years and are skilled in this area.

“Many veteran employees are ready to retire, causing on-the-job training to taper off. These courses offer comprehensive, relevant education delivered by seasoned professionals to those who need to get up to speed quickly on the nuances of airworthiness and production certification.”