A SCOTTISH aviation business is forecasting a sky-high record year in 2022 following major investments in recent years.
Based at Perth Airport, ACS has increased staff numbers by 18% over the past two years with flight instructors, aircraft engineers and airport workers joining the team of 55.
In addition, the business has invested in four new aircraft, increasing the training fleet to 22, with further developments both in the UK and overseas, planned for the coming year.
The investment comes as airlines across the world are having to deal with a raft of both mandatory retirements and Covid-related early retirements, which are resulting in an increasing demand for qualified pilots.
Following a dip in pilot training at the start of the pandemic, ACS saw pilot training numbers increase to 100 in 2021 – well ahead of pre-Covid levels – with forecasts showing a significant increase in 2022/23.
As a result of this increased activity, ACS achieved record turnover of £2.9 million in 2021/22, with this figure forecasted to increase by a further 17%, to £3.4 million, in 2022/23.
The business has also had to adapt and learn from new processes and regulatory changes over the last two years to deliver enhanced courses such as online learning for its trainee pilots.
Commenting on the company’s growth, ACS Aviation Managing Director, Graeme Frater, said: “After almost two years of very significant turmoil for the global aviation industry, we have now reached a turning point.
“Reduced air travel has become a thing of the past, and forecasts point to a more normal future where the problem will actually be the opposite: not having enough aircraft and pilots to meet demand.
“Our analysis of the market shows the UK and Europe’s commercial aviation industry will require more than 130,000 new pilots, and projects passenger traffic growing at a rate of 3.1% annually.
“As one of the UK’s leading flight schools, ACS is ideally placed to provide the facilities that will be required to help meet these increased demands.”
ACS General Manager, Bruce Duguid added: “ACS Aviation offers both full time residential and part time training courses.
“Our Fast Track Airline pilot course allows students to go from little or no flying experience to a fully qualified pilot in 18 months with our modular courses enabling students to complete training around their lifestyle or other commitments.”