A SCOTTISH pilot training academy has unveiled a £2 million investment plan designed to establish it as the largest flight school in the country.

ACS Aviation, based in Perth, is launching the growth scheme after the firm revealed it is on track to record a 26% increase in turnover thanks to a busy year in which more than 115 pilots were trained.

Amid growing demand for pilots from major European airlines, ACS is planning to invest upwards of £2m in additional state-of-the-art flight simulators and twin-engine training aircraft, taking the ACS fleet to more than 20 and making the company the biggest training academy in the country.

The expansion of the business has resulted in a tripling of the workforce in the past three years, from 13 to 40. Meanwhile, turnover is forecast to rise from £1.9m to £2.4m for the year ending March 31.

CEO Graeme Frater said: “Europe accounts for 34% of global air traffic and according to Boeing projections this will grow by 113% by 2037, meaning the demand for pilots is only set to increase. With that in mind we have focused on increasing our flight training capabilities over the past year and thanks to our industry leading fleet and training concepts, this has resulted in a 40% uplift in the number of pilots trained.”

He added: “Moving forward we are not only looking to grow our engineering and flight training services at Perth Airport but we are also in talks with several other airports about expanding our aviation operations across the UK.”

To help with this expansion, ACS is working with Scottish Enterprise on several projects including aircraft engineering modern apprenticeships and graduate opportunities.

Acknowledging the capital outlay that is required to train pilots, the business has also introduced a limited number of flight instructor sponsorships and flying scholarships.

In addition, ACS Aviation will be hosting Scotland’s Pilot Careers and Flight Training Seminar at the Holiday Inn, Glasgow Airport on Saturday.

The event is aimed to educate and inspire young people towards a career as a commercial airline pilot and will featuring airlines such as Jet2.com, Flybe and Loganair.