Business

First license exam in Japanese for aircraft parts inspectors to be held in Kobe

JIJI

The industry ministry will hold a licensing exam on nondestructive inspection for aircraft industry engineers in Kobe from Dec. 16 to 19, the first such exam in Japan, according to informed sources.

The ministry aims to smooth the way for engineers at small businesses to acquire advanced qualifications in order to help the further development of the aircraft parts industry, the sources said.

Nondestructive inspection is a testing technique to evaluate the surface and inside conditions of parts without taking them apart and instead using noninvasive methods such as magnetism.

The planned exam for the aircraft parts industry, which is in line with U.S. standards, will be carried out in Japanese at the Hyogo Prefectural Institute of Technology in cooperation with a third-party organization, according to the sources.

The ministry expects a few dozen people to take the exam and plans to conduct the testing once or twice a year in the future, they said.

Major aircraft makers such as Boeing Co. frequently require nondestructive inspection for parts and component procurement. But there has been no qualification exam for aircraft parts makers conducted by a third-party organization in Japan, so engineers at small businesses have needed to take exams in English in Britain or the United States or take internal exams at major Japanese heavy machinery manufacturers.

The industry ministry hopes the Japanese-language exam will ease the burden of small businesses in human resources development and help boost parts order receipts from major U.S. and European aircraft makers.

Overall sales in Japan’s aircraft industry stood at about ¥1.8 trillion in 2018. Aiming to raise the figure to ¥3 trillion by 2030, the ministry is working to mediate deals between Japanese companies and Boeing.