ACS growth plans get airborne following £1m investment

ACS Aviation, Scotland’s leading flying school and aircraft maintenance company has set a course to become one of Europe’s leading commercial flying schools following a £1 million investment in aircraft and equipment.

Founded in 2007 the company has more than doubled its workforce over the past year and boosted enrolment of would-be pilots for its commercial training programmes after extending their range and flexibility.  Offering students, a “modular approach” ACS Flight Training’s courses let trainees fit instruction and flying hours around work commitments, at prices lower than large multinational schools such as Oxford Aviation Academy and L3 Airline Academy.

Current students include trainee pilots from the Netherlands and Italy, as well as UK nationals attracted by ACS’s marketing drive.

ACS is based at Perth Airport, the former WWII airfield owned by the Morris Leslie Group. Operations are likely to benefit from the UK and Scottish Government-backed Tay Cities Deal delivering improved transport links through the projected Cross Tay Link Road (CTLR).

Potential upgrading of the airfield and its surrounding facilities planned by Morris Leslie would enable ACS to boost competitiveness with UK and international rivals, bringing substantial business and tourism benefits to Tayside.  Plans include improved retail and accommodation and housing that would boost the business case for expanded operations, including a thriving apprenticeship programme in ACS’s growing aircraft maintenance division.

Graeme Frater, managing director of ACS Aviation said:

“Our aim was to be Scotland’s best and busiest commercial flying school and we have already achieved that.”

“In the past 12 months we have seen a 10% increase in the number of visiting aircraft to Perth Airport and grown our workforce from 13 to 31 employees in 12 months.

“Recently the airport runway lighting was upgraded which is expected to further increase movements, and we have purchased a new commercial flight simulator (Alsim AL42) and an new aircraft, a Diamond DA42 Twinstar,  used for commercial flight training. We are the only flying school in Scotland that can offer commercial training with this combination of aircraft and simulator.”

“Having invested in the building, in a new aircraft and simulator, and formed strategic partnerships with specialist training companies such as Simtech Aviation and Path2Pilot, as well as commercial airlines like Loganair who use the simulator we are well set up for further growth and are optimistic about growing Perth Airport’s international reputation as one-stop shop for commercial flight training.”

A spokesman for invest in Perth, the inward investment arm of Perth and Kinross Council, said:

“We are delighted to see this significant investment in a local company and the highly skilled employment opportunities this brings to Perth & Kinross. We are committed to working with growing entrepreneurial companies within the region and wish ACS every success at Perth Airport. The investment in the local infrastructure via the Tay Cities Deal will hopefully open up more opportunities for companies within the airport business park.”

Committed to investing in upskilling its workforce, ACS also works with Perth College-owned Air Service Training (AST) who provide the training for ACS’s two young apprentice engineers taking the B1 Licenced Engineering course and a university graduate through the ScotGrad scheme through Skills Development Scotland and a Modern Apprentice working in its stores and logistics department.

ACS also houses and works closely with Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance (SCAA), the only one of its kind in Scotland, which is capable of reaching 90% of Scotland’s population within 25 minutes in an emergency. Working in partnership with the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS), SCAA is an integral part of Scotland’s frontline emergency response network, responding to trauma incidents and medical emergencies across the country, covering an area of more than 30,000 square miles.

For further information contact Colin Donald CDPR on 07793606901colin@cdpr.co.uk

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