Colombia-based low-cost airline Viva and SENA, Colombia’s national community college network, have announced the opening of a joint training facility for engineers, technicians, mechanics and other specialized personnel serving the airline in Colombia and Peru. Viva says that by partnering with SENA, it can save 75% on training for these individuals by next year.
The SENA training space, located outside Medellín in Rionegro’s free trade zone near the José Maria Córdova international airport, will primarily offer technical courses on the Airbus A320 series aircraft flown by Viva, and Viva will offer students the necessary internships to obtain the vital hands-on skills and experience necessary for employment. To this end, Viva has applied to Aerocivil, Colombia’s civil aviation authority for certification as an Approved Maintenance Organization, which would allow it to carry out more advanced A&P (Airframe & Powerplant) maintenance and repairs on its own aircraft, and those of other operators should it so choose.
Above: Cross-section of General Electric LEAP1A turbofan engines powering Viva’s new Airbus A320neo fleet
“Since the second semester of 2020, we have sought alliances with universities and academic institutions that would allow us to have spaces to carry out our own training and take advantage of our talent. To achieve this, we formed a special synergy with SENA and we became the only airline in Colombia that currently has a classroom in an educational entity. With this project, we estimate that by 2022 we will generate an approximate saving of 75% and that, for that same year, 74% of the courses will be taught by our own instructors,” stated Francisco Lalinde, VP of Operations and People at Viva.
Initial course offerings include:
- A320 Family. Line & Base Maintenance. CFM56 & LEAP1A
- A320 Family. General Familiarization. CFM 56 LEAP1A
- From A320 (CFM 56) to A320 (CFM LEAP1A) Family – Initial
“For SENA, this alliance with Viva, which is at the service of Colombians, is a reason for happiness, since it will be the impetus for the generation of new capabilities that will lead us to obtain greater results and to promote the growth of the aeronautical sector, the communities and the country. Furthermore, it is a source of pride since this is the first classroom for Airbus 320 aircraft training in a training center approved by the authority and the manufacturer,” added Juan Felipe Rendón, SENA Regional Director.