ACS Aviation, Scotland's leading flying school and aircraft maintenance company has set a course to become one of the leading commercial flying schools in Europe following a one million pound investment in aircraft, airside facilities and online presence.
Founded in 2007 the company has increased the number of would-be pilots for its wide range of commercial training programmes after extending the range and flexibility of its training offer. Allowing flying students, a “modular approach” ACS Flight Training courses enable trainees to fit instruction and flying hours around work commitments. The range of competitively-priced courses has enabled ACS Flight Training to compete with large multinational training schools such as Oxford Aviation Academy and L3 Airline Company based in England.
Recent enrolments include would-be pilots from as far afield as the Netherlands and Italy, as well as those generated by ACS's marketing operations around the UK.
ACS is based at Perth Airport, the former WWII airfield owned by Morris Leslie Group and earmarked as a potential site for further development in the projected UK and Scottish Government-backed Tay Cities Deal. Potential upgrading of the airfield and its surrounding facilities under the plan would enable ACS to boost its offer compete better with European and UK rivals, bringing substantial business and tourism benefits to the Tayside economy. Future development, including improved retail and accommodation facilities and housing would also improve the business case for ACS to expanding the widely-praised apprenticeship programme it offers in its expanding 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. The airside operation is thriving. 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 employees 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 growth and are optimistic about growing Perth Airport's international reputation as one-stop shop for commercial flight training.
“But there are challenges ahead, and our offer to flying school and maintenance customers requires that Perth Airport be allowed to develop as a thriving mixed development within the transformed economic landscape promised by the Tay Cities Deal.”
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 B1 Licensed 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.
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