Perth, Scotland-based ACS Aviation is on a mission to become one of the leading commercial flying schools in Europe following a £1 million investment in its aircraft, airside facilities and online presence.

Graeme Frater, Managing Director of ACS Aviation, commented, “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.

“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 a 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 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,” Graeme added.

Perth airport is a former WWII airfield owned by Morris Leslie Group and has been 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 by 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.