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Typically duration is 18-24 months – 1 day a week in College & 4 days a week in the workplace


An aviation operations manager has accountability for compliance, safety and security within their area, must effectively plan and manage the use of resources and ensure compliance with processes and procedures. They may manage an aviation operation in a variety of contexts, such as a commercial airport, military base / aerodrome, heliport or other airfield. Specialist roles, all focussed around the management of aircraft arrival, turnaround and departure, as well as the environment and facilities, require knowledge, skills and behaviours to complete complex aviation tasks and management of others to enable compliance with regulations through a safe, secure and effective aviation operation. Effective communication and decision making across all levels of the organisation and with stakeholders across the aviation operation are essential.

Am I ready to start?

4 GCSEs at grades 3-9. Interview and reference.

What does the course involve?

The course covers the essential Skills, knowledge and behaviours required across 9 key areas. These include:

  • Security
  • Safety
  • Compliance and Legislation
  • Aviation Systems
  • Disruption, Incidents and Emergencies

Aviation operations management comprises six distinct managerial areas within an aviation environment. The aviation operations manager will complete ALL core knowledge, skills and behaviours, along with ONE of the six specialist functions

  • Aircraft Handling Manager
  • Aircraft Movement Manager
  • Fire Fighter watch Manager
  • Flight Operations Manager – Air Traffic Control (ATC)
  • Passenger Operations Manager

How and when will I study?

Final End Point Assessment involves a combination of a 1 hr examination, 2 Observations and a professional discussion. Learners must pass all 3 elements to complete the apprenticeship.

You will also be expected to collate a portfolio of evidence throughout the apprenticeship.

This qualification is graded Pass/Merit/Distinction/Fail

Apprenticeship Standards are assessed through independent end point assessors. Your role as an apprentice may vary depending on your employer. Learners that have not yet achieved a minimum of grade 4 or C in GCSE English and Maths will be required to complete a Level 2 functional skill qualification.

Down to business, what can I do and what can I earn?

On successful completion of this qualification learners can progress to a Aviation Operations Manager role with the option to progress to higher level management.

The Aviation industry offers many exciting career opportunities and we provide clear pathways to a successful career.   This qualification is your stepping stone into a management role within the industry. Examples of managerial roles include: Aircraft Handling Manager, Aircraft Movement Manager, Fire Fighter watch Manager, Flight Operations Manager – Air Traffic Control (ATC), Passenger Operations Manager and more.

We currently work closely with a number of companies to ensure learners are developing the skills they require to successfully progress into a sustainable career with a reputable business. Companies we are currently working with include Swissport, Manchester Airport Group, Universal Aviation, Flightworx and many more.

Approval Status

Subject to approval by awarding organisation

Got a job?

You must have a job to do an apprenticeship. If you already have a job you may be able to do an apprenticeship with your current employer.

If you don’t have a job for your apprenticeship – apply for your place at College by clicking the 'Apply Now' button at the top and bottom of the page.

Once you have applied please check out our apprenticeship job vacancies.

An apprenticeship comprises two parts:

  • Typically 20% study element (at Harlow College or Stansted Airport College).
  • 80% work based element with an employer. It is your responsibility to find an employer.

Great, so what do I do now?

Call 01279 868240 to speak to an Apprenticeships adviser

Contact us about applying for an Apprenticeship