Avionics News December 2014 - 15
have served as key researchers and engineers in the cuttingAustralia, or North or South America, Korea is a fledgling
edge aerospace technology development of the T-50 Jet
industry with slightly more than a dozen regional airports.
Training Aircraft and the NARO Rocket Launching Pad,
However, it is a growing industry. Two significant organiamong other projects."
zations are the Korea Aerospace Industries and the Korea
Flight training also is handled by the university through
the Flight Training Center. As an affiliated organization
The KAI is a central corporation for research and develof Korea Aerospace University and designated as a flight
opment, maintenance, repair and overhaul, and aerospace
education institution by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure
manufacturing for Korea. On the MRO and modification
and Transport, the Flight Training Center is purpose built to
side, it provides maintenance support for the entire Korean
prepare aspiring pilots for their future careers, either as civil
military fleet of both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft, as
or military pilots. In addition to providing flight training for
well as limited support for U.S. military equipment. In addithe Korean Air Force, the Flight Training Center provides
tion, it provides logistical support for the aircraft systems it
the Airline Pilot Program for Korean Air. Only recently has
the Flight Training Center opened its doors to the general
The manufacturing side of KAI is staggering. With a
public as a much-needed step in the development of the
storied history dating back to the 1950s, Korea Aerospace
Industries has been active in manufacturing military aircraft,
general aviation industry in Korea.
Classic general aviation that exists in the country is cenprimarily under license, for the past 40 years. More recently,
tered on long-range business aircraft operations such as the
it produces and exports fuselage piece parts for both Airbus
opening of an FBO to proand Boeing, as well
mote international business.
as manufacturing the
When considering the development and growth of the
However, there are limited
advanced military trainer,
Korean electronics industry, as well as its automotive
air charter operations within
the T-50, through a joint
the country utilizing both
venture with Lockheed
industry, it shouldn't be surprising that the country's
fixed- and rotary-wing
Martin. KAI has a numaerospace manufacturing capability is so mature.
aircraft. One can see the
ber of in-house projects
commitment to aviation and
ranging from the light GA
general aviation, specifically, by the rebuilding and expandaircraft, the KC-100, which is a piston-powered four-seat
ed development at the regional airport.
GA aircraft, to the KT-1 turbine-powered military trainer. It
While the flight operations side of general aviation is
also produces the highly successful KUH-1 Surion military
extremely limited and, therefore, the MRO side of general
helicopter with a civil variant under development. In addiaviation is limited, the manufacturing side is very robust. If
tion to the civil helicopter under development, it is working
the Korean aerospace industry ever has a meeting with its
on unmanned aerial vehicles and planned work for business
electronics counterpart, it would not surprise me to see a
and regional aircraft.
whole new generation of avionics equipment emerge, bringWhen considering the development and growth of the
ing state-of-the-art consumer electronic advances into the
Korean electronics industry, as well as its automotive indusGA cockpit.
try, it shouldn't be surprising that the country's aerospace
The AEA will continue to monitor the growth of general
manufacturing capability is so mature.
aviation in the Asia-Pacific region by taking advantage of
The second significant organization, established in 1952,
various opportunities to introduce the local aviation industry
is the Korea Aerospace University. KAU's educational and
to the association's membership. Meanwhile, as the region
research programs include nanosatellites, unmanned aerial
develops its general aviation industry, it will look toward
vehicles, avionics, aircraft and spacecraft design, flight
the developed aviation regions for maintenance and support.
operations, air traffic management, logistics, air and space
The AEA will continue to provide training and education to
law, airport management and English - all with undergradua growing global industry. As such, look for a training sesate and graduate degree programs.
sion with the U.S. Department of Commerce on internationAccording to the university, "KAU alumni account for
al business during the 2015 AEA International Convention
some 15 percent of the R&D workforce in Korea's aero& Trade Show in Dallas, Texas, April 8-11. q
space industries and institutes. KAU alumni, in particular,