The French-Mexican campus for aeronautics maintenance trades is a strategic alliance between the Universidad Aeronáutica en Querétaro (UNAQ, Querétaro Aeronautics University) and the Querétaro state technical and vocational college (CONALEP Bicentenario aeronáutico – Querétaro). It was inaugurated by the French and Mexican Presidents on 11 April 2014.
The goal is to train vocational baccalaureate students (Profesional Técnico Bachiller – PTB) and high-level university technicians (Técnico Superior Universitario – TSU) in aviation with a comparable level of competence to that set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). In order to support the campus and enable it to attain its objectives, it receives financial, technical and educational support from the Mexican and French education ministries, French aviation companies and authorities, and Mexican federal institutions.
Goal: successfully breaking into the world of work
Since its creation, UNAQ has contributed to the development and consolidation of the aerospace industry by training professionals and researchers to meet the needs of the aerospace sector. Within UNAQ, the French-Mexican campus provides all students with teaching focused on skills identified with partner companies, helping them break into the world of work and the productive sector successfully. The training meets the requirements of the industry, whether or not the companies are partners of the campus.
The aim in the coming years is the granting to the campus of EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) certification, making it be attractive to aeronautics industry companies in Mexico, the US and Europe. Mexico will thus be the continent’s only country offering that certification.
Construction of the campus
The construction of the campus began in December2012. The first stage involved the main building, containing ten laboratories, eight workshops, two shops, a documentation centre and an area dedicated to practical work. The building’s total floor surface area is 4600m². The main building was delivered in late 2013, with 50% of its equipment having been acquired.
In 2014, the installation of the various laboratories and workshops was completed, as was the construction of a hangar of 5000m² to house four aircraft used for practical maintenance exercises.
The French industrial partners SAFRAN and Airbus Helicopters each provided training equipment, including an aeroplane engine and a helicopter.
In late 2013, 15teachers specialized in avionics, maintenance and manufacture attended a training course lasting 6weeks in PART147 training centres certified by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency), in order to transfer the educational practices necessary for the proper functioning of the French-Mexican campus.
Since then, a dozen teachers per year receive training in the modules that will allow them to receive EASA certification, delivered by the expert from the French Ministry of National Education and colleagues from UNAQ who have already received training.
2000 students trained every year
At CONALEP for the vocational baccalaureate (PTB):
- machine manufacture in aeronautics
- maintenance of systems and structures
- maintenance of avionic systems
For high-level technicians level at UNAQ:
- class II maintenance technician for aircraft electronic systems (avionics)
- class II engine maintenance technician
- aircraft manufacture.
The Agreement setting out the terms of the partnership was signed by the Mexican Secretariat of Public Education (SEP), the French Ministry of National Education (MEN), the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transport (SCT), the CONALEP Directorate-General, and representatives of the SAFRAN and Airbus Helicopters companies.
- French Embassy in Mexico City (in French and Spanish)
- Business France in Mexico City
- French Development Agency in Mexico (in French and Spanish)
- France Tourism Development Agency – Atout France in Mexico (in French)
- French Institute of Latin America – IFAL (in Spanish)
- Campus France in Mexico (in Spanish)
- French Research Institute Abroad (IFRE) – Centre for Mexican and Central American Studies – CEMCA (in Spanish)
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