Aeronautics Maintenance Technology

Photo of an airplane engine

Important Notice:

Due to overwhelming interest in our AERO program, admissions will be temporarily paused. We will not be intaking any new students for the Fall 2022 semester. Please check the website frequently for updates. We are still admitting students into other programs. If you are interested and would like to speak with us about options, please contact us at: (808) 845-9162 or

Brief Program Description/Goals

The Aeronautics Maintenance Technology program is designed to prepare individuals for Federal Aviation Administration certification as aircraft Airframe and Powerplant mechanics. Students in this program obtain knowledge and practical applications in such areas as hydraulics, sheet metal, electrical installation and troubleshooting, welding, the use of hand power tools, engine theory, troubleshooting and repair.

What Is Unique About The Program

The Aeronautics Maintenance Department is an approved aviation maintenance technician training facility operating under Federal Aviation Administration Air Agency Certificate No. DI9T087R with Airframe, Powerplant and combined Airframe and Powerplant ratings.

It is the only such school in the Pacific Basin.


140 Iako Place, Bldg 52
Honolulu, HI 96819
(Honolulu International Airport)

Program Prerequisite

  • Placement in ENG 100 *
  • "C" or higher in MATH 25, OR Placement in MATH 103
  • Recommended Preparation before enrolling in the AERO 130-137 series: ICS 100

* If the MATH program prerequisite is met by Placement Test scores, students will need to complete MATH 103 or appropriate substitute in order to meet the requirements for the AS degree.

Degrees That Can Be Earned

  • Associate in Science (AS)
  • Certificate of Achievement (CA)

Itemized Estimate of Educational Costs

  • Tuition based on total credits taken.
  • Books/tools/supplies approximately $2,500 for entire program.

Upon successful completion of the AERO program, students will be able to:

  • Satisfactorily pass the FAA knowledge, oral, practical and written examinations in General, Airframe, and Powerplant subjects
  • Obtain FAA general mechanic, airframe and powerplant certifications
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge and mechanical ability to inspect, maintain, service and repair aircraft electrical, engine (piston and turbine), airframe structure, flight control, hydraulic, pneumatic, fuel, navigation and instrument systems and other aircraft components specified by Federal Aviation Regulation Part 147
  • Identify, install, inspect, fabricate and repair aircraft sheet metal and synthetic material structures
  • Maintain and repair any part in any aircraft system of any rotorcraft, light aircraft, air carrier aircraft, glider, or balloon within the regulatory limits imposed by the FAA certification, without error, to ensure the safety of the flying public
  • Display proper behavior reflecting satisfactory work habits and ethics to fulfill program requirements and confidence to prepare for employment

Our program technical standards have been developed to help students understand the minimum essential mental, physical, and behavioral skills necessary for participation in and completion of all core aspects of our curriculum.

Thinking Skills


Apply principles of electricity, applied math, and applied physics to conduct proper airframe and powerplant maintenance.


  • Read, understand and use Federal Aviation Regulations, technical manuals, and aircraft drawings.
  • Identify types of aircraft and related components.
  • Assess the operation and construction of aircraft components and systems.
  • Measure and calculate electrical power.
  • Comprehend aircraft components and systems sufficiently to maintain, troubleshoot, repair, and return them to service standards.

Sensory/Observation Skills


Inspect external and internal structures, engines, and other operational and safety systems for indicators of problems.


  • Determine readings on meters, gauges, and other measurement devices.
  • Recognize and interpret auditory signals and warning devices.
  • Distinguish identifying colors of wires, knobs and other parts.
  • Recognize and interpret colors and textures of residue on parts.
  • Detect and respond to sensory cues that indicate problems.
  • Survey and select appropriate materials, tools and equipment for maintenance and repairs.

Motor Skills


Possess sufficient physical strength, flexibility, and dexterity to operate, repair, and maintain aircraft.


  • Ground operate and move aircraft.
  • Do mechanical drawing.
  • Fabricate sheet metal structures.
  • Manipulate tools, measuring devices, small parts, and equipment appropriately.
  • Work in confined spaces.
  • Work at varying heights.
  • Lift and transport equipment and materials as necessary.

Communication Skills


Communicate effectively to gather and convey information.


  • Read, write, speak, and understand English as required by FAA standards.

Behavioral Skills


Behave appropriately and safely in a shared learning environment.


  • Work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Work cooperatively with partners and groups.
  • Follow through with individual and shared responsibilities in a timely manner.
  • Exercise good judgement.
  • Follow safety procedures.

Environmental Tolerance


Function safely in a typical aircraft hangar.


  • Work for prolonged periods amidst: Extreme noise, Extreme heat, Sharp tools and materials, Electrical equipment, Chemicals and toxins, Dust and fumes, Machinery with moving parts, Moving objects and vehicles, Ladders and scaffolding, Slippery or uneven surfaces, Variations in lighting

1. Will the AERO program prepare you for a career?

Yes! Our graduates begin working on aircraft immediately out of school. Students who complete their Certificate of Achievement are also ready to take the exam for their A & P or Airframe and Powerplant Certificate. Those students who elect to receive their Associates Degree will often move in to management positions.

2. Where have graduates been able to get jobs in the past?

Many of our graduates have picked up jobs as Aviation Mechanics or Technicians at the Boeing Flight Test Division, Hawaiian Airlines, Aloha Cargo, United Airlines, FAA, military contract maintenance, local general aviation and cargo companies, and Gulfstream. Also, because of their experience with turbine engines our graduates often pick up employment with companies such as Hawaiian Electric.

3. Is the AERO program easy?

No. In fact, it is one of the most difficult programs offered at Honolulu Community College. As a result, it is strongly suggested that students do not take any other general education while taking major courses.

4. When and where are the AERO classes offered?

Our AERO courses are offered Monday through Friday from 7:00am until 2:15pm at the Airport Training Center at 140 Iako Place off of Lagoon Drive near the airport.

5. What are the program prerequisites?

Placement into ENG 100, or ENG 100 with ENG 100S or ESL 23 and placement in MATH 103.

6. What courses should you take if you do not meet the program prerequisites or if the first semester AERO courses (AERO 130 & 131) are not available?

You should definitely take the courses that lead up to English 100 and at a minimum Math 103. But to keep up a full time schedule you can also take Speech 151 and any of the Natural Sciences or Social Sciences listed as options on the AERO Graduation Checklist.

7. How often are the first semester AERO courses (AERO 130 & 131) offered?

These courses are currently offered every fall.

8. What can a student do to succeed in the program?

It is strongly suggested that each student become involved in a study group. The FAA requires that all students learn such a large amount of material within a relatively short period of time that joining a study group really becomes a must do to do well in each of the major courses. Students should also get to know how to read each individual aircraft's maintenance manuals.

9. What is the best way for a new student to prepare for their 1st semester?

New students can pick up their textbooks from the bookstore and become familiar with them. They can also attend the AERO Orientation. This orientation will take place shortly after AERO 130 & 131 fills. You will be contacted with the exact date and time but in the meantime be sure that Honolulu Community College has your correct contact information.

10. Should new students come to the 1st class prepared with their tools?

No, further instruction concerning tools and other supplies will be given on the first day. However, you should come dressed wearing long pants and close toed shoes.

11. What are the AERO courses like?

The courses are challenging. In fact, all of the classes have exams at least once a week. But the great thing about them is that the classes are hands on and they provide you the opportunity to work on both engines and the fuselage of more than half a dozen different airplanes and helicopters.

12. If you take a break from college, can you follow the old program requirements or do you have to follow the current requirements?

If your break from Honolulu community college has been less than one year, you can follow the old requirements. If your break has been one year or more, see an academic counselor.

13. Are there any apprenticeships available?

Hawaiian Airlines has partnered with Honolulu Community College and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union to create an apprenticeship program designed to train local candidates interested in the aeronautic maintenance career. Students interested in this apprenticeship must have been in the AERO program for a minimum of six months or have military experience. To apply, email or visit

14. Are there any scholarships that AERO students can apply for?

There are a number of scholarships that students, who are involved in the trades, such as the AERO program, can apply for. Some of these scholarships include:

  • The Ngo Wong Loo & Man Kwong Loo Memorial Scholarship
  • Loui "Tools of the Trade" Scholarship
  • Feng Yi Fong Scholarship Fund for Career & Technical Education
  • Hawaii Veterans Memorial Fund
  • Charles Hemenway Scholarship
  • There is also the Non-Traditional scholarship which is available for students who are admitted into a program (such as AERO) that is customarily dominated by members of the opposite sex.

View additional information about these scholarships and other scholarships [PDF]

15. After earning the Associate's degree in AERO, can you continue on for a bachelor's degree in the aeronautics maintenance field at a four-year university?

The usual path for someone with a desire to get a four year degree would be to complete as much as they can in the UH system, such as an AS degree in maintenance, then see where they would like to go for the four year maintenance management degree.

According to the catalog, the following 4-year degree programs accept AERO 130-137 for advanced standing credit towards a BS in Aeronautics Maintenance Management or other related degrees:

  • University of Central Missouri
  • San Jose State University
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • University of North Dakota
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Parks College of St. Louis University
  • Purdue University
  • Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
  • Central Washington University
  • Kent State University
  • Lewis University
  • Metropolitan State College of Denver
  • Utah State University.

A complete listing can be obtained through the University Aviation Association or the FAA. A student can then check which courses would articulate with the four year degree program that they might take here in the UH system to save some money, then transfer to finish out at the four year institution once they have completed what they can, or at whatever point they want to make the switch.