Aviation inspector

An aviation inspector


Aviation inspectors perform inspections of the procedures followed in matters of maintenance, air navigational aids, air traffic controls, and communications equipment. They check compliance with ICAO, EU, national and environmental regulations.

An aviation inspector typically performs the following duties:

  • Inspects aircraft, maintenance procedures, air navigational aids, air traffic controls, and communications equipment.
  • Determines if the equipment has been repaired or serviced lately and if repairs are satisfactory.
  • Verify competency, training, and education of people operating and repairing aircraft.
  • Issue certificates of airworthiness or deny them based on findings.
  • Check equipment, instruments, and systems.
  • Inspect landing gear, tires, and exteriors of fuselage, wings, and engines for evidence of damage or corrosion.
  • Identify damage and defects in grounded planes.
  • Develop and administer regulations and safety standards about the operation of aircraft.
  • Evaluate airmen training programs, equipment, and facilities.
  • Evaluate the operational aspect of programs of air carriers and similar commercial and aviation operations for adequacy of facilities, equipment, procedures, and overall management to ensure safe operation of the aircraft.
  • Determine if the mechanics and repair facilities are adequate.
  • Determine the adequacy of the program or schedule for periodic maintenance and overhauls.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to aviation inspector:

aircraft inspection officer
aviation maintenance inspector
aircraft accident investigator
aircraft maintenance inspector
aircraft quality inspector
flight inspector
lead inspection officer
transportation inspector
aviation inspection officer
inspection officer

Working conditions

Aviation inspectors work in hangars and on airfields, where they inspect aircraft to ensure that they are safe and meet all regulatory requirements. They also inspect aircraft parts and components, such as engines, landing gear, and brakes.

Aviation inspectors typically work a regular 40-hour week, but they may be required to work overtime, weekends, and holidays as needed. The work can be physically demanding, and aircraft inspectors must be able to lift heavy objects and work in cramped spaces. They also must be able to work in all weather conditions, as they may be required to inspect aircraft that are parked outdoors.

Minimum qualifications

Aviation inspectors typically need a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent. Many employers prefer an associate’s degree in aeronautical science or a related field. Courses in aeronautical science include aircraft design, aerodynamics, aeronautical engineering, flight mechanics and aviation maintenance.

Aviation inspectors typically receive on-the-job training from their employers. This training may include instruction on the specific aircraft the inspector will be inspecting, the inspection process and the use of any specialized equipment.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Aviation inspector is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Aviation inspector career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to aviation inspector.

aviation data communications manager
aeronautical information service officer
aviation safety officer
aeronautical information specialist
private pilot

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of aviation inspector. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of aviation inspector with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

airside safety manager
aviation surveillance and code coordination manager
air traffic manager
aviation communications and frequency coordination manager
airport director

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of aviation inspector.

  • Procedures associated with different air navigation areas: Know relevant information related to various air navigation areas, including the availability of air navigation facilities and services and the procedures associated with them, as well as general air navigation procedures.
  • Aviation standards and recommended practices: Know the official Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) of ICAO, designed to assist in the management of aviation safety risks in order to reduce the number of aviation accidents and incidents.
  • Content of airworthiness directives: Have extensive knowledge of all airworthiness directives which include service bulletins and similar documents relating to the aircraft and equipment.
  • Information confidentiality: The mechanisms and regulations which allow for selective access control and guarantee that only authorised parties (people, processes, systems and devices) have access to data, the way to comply with confidential information and the risks of non-compliance.
  • Common aviation safety regulations: The body of legislation and regulations that apply to the field of civil aviation at regional, national, European and International levels. Understand that regulations aimed at protecting citizens at all times in civil aviation; ensure that operators, citizens, and organisations comply with these rules.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of aviation inspector.

  • Prepare audit activities: Prepare an audit plan including both pre-audits and certification audits. Communicate with the different processes in order to implement the improvement actions that lead to certification.
  • Conduct quality assurance inspections on fuel operations: Obtain and visually inspect fuel samples, examine fuel tank water, temperature, and fuel levels to ensure the highest quality in operations.
  • Perform risk analysis: Identify and assess factors that may jeopardise the success of a project or threaten the organisation’s functioning. Implement procedures to avoid or minimise their impact.
  • Inspect aircraft documentation: Inspect documentation of aircraft related to maintenance and airworthiness.
  • Comply with legal regulations: Ensure you are properly informed of the legal regulations that govern a specific activity and adhere to its rules, policies and laws.
  • Prepare financial auditing reports: Compile information on audit findings of financial statements and financial management in order to prepare reports, point out improvement possibilities, and confirm governability.
  • Conduct aviation auditing: Conduct inspections and carry out auditing functions in order to assess the airworthiness of aviation-related activities and performance of engineers and technicians.
  • Liaise with colleagues: Liaise with fellow colleagues to ensure common understanding on work related affairs and agree on the necessary compromises the parties might need to face. Negotiate compromises between parties as to ensure that work in general run efficiently towards the achievement of the objectives.
  • Apply airport standards and regulations: Know and apply the accepted standards and regulations for European airports. Apply knowledge to enforce airport rules, regulations, and the Airport Safety Plan.
  • Enforce fuel storage regulations: Enforce fuel storage regulations, in accordance with governmental and environmental policies and regulations.
  • Apply technical communication skills: Explain technical details to non-technical customers, stakeholders, or any other interested parties in a clear and concise manner.
  • Use technical documentation: Understand and use technical documentation in the overall technical process.
  • Have computer literacy: Utilise computers, IT equipment and modern day technology in an efficient way.
  • Evaluate implementation of safety procedures: Investigate and evaluate whether safety procedures have been established and implemented appropriately.
  • Monitor airworthiness certifications: Monitor airworthiness certifications and ensure they are carried out by persons who are properly authorised, and that the certifications undertaken are for the purpose of meeting the requirements of applicable airworthiness regulations.
  • Issue waivers: Issue waivers for upcoming air shows and unusual or experimental aviation operations. Compose exhaustive list of conditions and limitations.
  • Conduct regular aviation research: Conduct research on a regular basis in order to stay up-to-date with aviation safety standards and procedures. Investigate new technologies and materials that may improve the efficiency of service delivery.
  • Liaise with managers: Liaise with managers of other departments ensuring effective service and communication, i.e. sales, planning, purchasing, trading, distribution and technical.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of aviation inspector. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Airport operating environment: Thoroughly understand the airport operating environment, the operational characteristics, services, activities, and procedures of a general aviation airport service area, as well as of those of the suppliers, partners, and other airport agencies.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of aviation inspector. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Investigate aircraft accidents: Thoroughly investigate aircraft accidents, collisions, crashes or other serious aviation incidents.
  • Conduct flight proficiency checks: Determine competency of pilots and other aviation personnel; conduct safety checks and make recommendations for safety improvements; analyse and prepare aviation training programmes.
  • Work in an aviation team: Work confidently in a group in general aviation services, in which each individual operates in their own area of responsibility to reach a common goal, such as a good customer interaction, air safety, and aircraft maintenance.
  • Prepare aviation equipment and facilities for training purposes: Prepare aviation equipment and training facilities used to train aircraft pilots, aircraft mechanics, and other aviation professionals.
  • Operate scientific measuring equipment: Operate devices, machinery, and equipment designed for scientific measurement. Scientific equipment consists of specialised measuring instruments refined to facilitate the acquisition of data.

ISCO group and title

3154 – Air traffic controllers

  1. Aviation inspector – ESCO
  2. Aviation Inspector Job Description – Diversity Jobs
  3. Aircraft Inspector Job Description: Salary, Duties, & More – Climb the Ladder
  4. Featured image: By Stephan Tournay – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Last updated on March 20, 2023