A SCOTTISH firm that trains airline pilots is investing £550,000 to purchase two additional aircraft in a bid to continue its growth.

ACS Aviation will make the move amid increase in turnover and the number of pilots in training, as the industry recovers from the pandemic.

It currently has 352 students in training for a pilot’s license, with 120 graduating this year – a 20% increase from 2022 – and the number of staff and contractors has increased from 55 to 60.

The two new aircraft will increase its fleet to 22, and the firm is looking at adding another six Tecnam aircrafts over the next 18 months, costing £1.65 million.

ACS managing director Graeme Frater said: “We are Scotland’s only European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) flight training academy, which has helped us to attract students from across the UK and Europe.

“Combine this with our analysis of published data from the leading aviation regulatory bodies which shows that the UK and Europe will encounter a significant shortfall of pilots over the next decade, and we anticipate increasing numbers of students travelling to Perth to engage in pilot training over the coming years.”

“We work closely with Perth Airport based Air Service Training to offer young people the opportunity to secure an aircraft engineering licence and we expect to see more apprentices joining the business in summer 2023.

"We are also actively recruiting flight instructors and have just announced our flight instructor sponsorship.”

Italian aeronautics manufacturer Tecnam appointed ACS as its first Scottish service centre.

As the airport operator at Perth Airport, the Scottish firm is also responsible for operating the control tower, airport fire service and aircraft refuelling. Graduates go on to work with UK and European passenger and cargo airlines.