On the 11th of September 2017, ASPEQ of New Zealand, CASA of PNG and MAF of PNG marked the opening of a 2nd E-Exam Centre in Papua New Guinea, located at the MAF PNG Headquarters in Mt Hagen.
Part of the core requirements to becoming a licensed aircraft engineer in PNG is to sit a suite of basic examinations, with a minimum of ten examinations per individual. The range of categories in Aircraft Mechanical Engineering (AME) Licensing are Aeroplane, Rotorcraft, Piston, Turbine, Electrical and Radio.
Historically, engineer’s examinations were all taken at the CASA PNG head office in Port Morseby. CASA Australia provided engineers CAR 31 exams in PNG. In early 2006, MAF PNG was approved by CASA Australia to host the Australian CAR 31 exams under an Exam Centre Code of 8100 for a special sitting. CASA PNG sent along an invigilator to facilitate the Mt Hagen Based Exam Centre until August 2013, when CASA Australia introduced a new policy for AME exam special sittings.
The new policy stated that CASA Australia would no longer be accepting applications for overseas special sittings, and therefore MAF PNG would no longer be able to offer a location in the Highlands Region for engineers to sit basic examinations. This meant that, once again, all engineer examinations had to be sat at the CASA PNG Head Office location in Port Morseby.
During the period August 2013 to February 2016, the licencing regulation changed and CASA PNG opted for the use of an electronic examination format. At the same time, a transition from the old Australian CAR 31 exams to the new CAR 66 exams took place. ASPEQ of New Zealand (formerly ASL) launched the new CASA PNG E-Exam Centre located in Port Morseby in February 2016. From August 2013 to August 2017, all engineer examinations were still held at the CASA PNG Head Office in Port Morseby.
Thus, it was a great day for partnership and collaboration between MAF PNG, CASA PNG and ASPEQ, when they united to establish an E-Exam Centre in the Highlands Region. This collaboration will result in pilots and engineers being able to sit CASA PNG examinations without the need to travel to Port Morseby, significantly reducing costs associated with travel to and from Port Morseby, as well as providing some overflow relief to the E-Exam Centre in Port Morseby.
MAF PNG hosted a small opening ceremony to mark the occasion at the Mt Hagen Head Quarters. MAF PNG was privileged to have Mr David Sode, MAF Board Member, Mr Bob Brownlie of ASPEQ New Zealand, Mr Wilson Sagati Director of CASA PNG, Mr Reuben O’Connor, Executive Manager Safety Regulation of CASA PNG, Mr Vivogo Samoa, CASA PNG Exam Invigilator, and Mr Phillip Ine, CASA PNG IT Official, all in attendance. Managers and representatives from local Aviation Operators were also in attendance.
MAF PNG is a Christian organisation dedicated to serving and reaching remote communities through aviation and technology. As Godfrey Sim, MAF PNG’s Church & Community Partnership Manager, shared in a devotion during the ceremony, this test Centre will facilitate the continued growth of aviation into the future. Godfrey quoted from Psalm 127, noting that this new facility will further help MAF in its vision to share the Good News through aviation and technology.
In his speech, Mr Bob Brownlie of ASPEQ explained that ASPEQ provides testing services all around the world. It was encouraging to hear that the electronic exam format will be extended to pilot examination in the very near future.
Mr Wilson Sagati was excited to share how the security of the E-Exams of ASPEQ will raise the bar professionally for those taking CASA exams, thereby eliminating fraud or errors from the system, and making the examination process fair for everyone.
Mr David Sode expressed what a privilege it is for MAF PNG to join in partnership with CASA PNG and ASPEQ to help establish a CASA E-Exam Centre at our Mt Hagen Base, which will serve the Highlands and Momase regions directly.
The ceremony concluded with a cutting of the ribbon and a celebration cake. Tom Meeks, MAF PNG’s Engineering Manager, closed the morning’s event in a prayer over the new exam Centre. The first exam of the CASA E-Exam Centre of MAF Mt Hagen was held at 11:00am on the same day, following the official opening.
Exam Candidates can check the following website for information and booking of exams: https://casapng.aspeqexams.com
Story: Ainesa Namunu, Neal Semanision, Tom Meeks. Photos: Mandy Glass