The Ministry of Defence has awarded the five-year Air Cadet Pilot Scholarship (ACPS) contract to Tayside Aviation, the Dundee-based flying school and aircraft engineering company. The Royal Airforce contract will allow 750 cadets to train at the city base over the five year period.
The cadets will undertake 12 hours of flying over a period of two weeks to achieve their first solo flight, training in the Grob Heron aircraft which Tayside Aviation has recently rebranded in bright colours to improve their visibility to other aircraft. The company has also installed new collision avoidance equipment within the aircraft, attention to detail which according to Tayside, played a part in securing the contract.
The company has been the sole UK contractor for RAF Flying Scholarships since 1994. In that time, the company has been responsible for training more than 5,000 cadets, many of whom eventually graduated as pilots in the Royal Air Force.
The ACPS is often the first rung in the flying career ladder as many recipients of these prestigious awards go on to be pilots, other aircrew in the armed forces or pursue a career as commercial airline pilots.
Jim Watt,Managing Director, Tayside Aviation, said,“We are delighted to be able to continue to serve the RAF in delivering the flying scholarships. We have held this contract continuously now over 20years and it requires high standards of flying and safety as well as delivering a cost effective programme for the RAF. Our instructors have to be high achievers as they all have to be cleared to fly with the RAF Central Flying School. It is a tough and demanding contract to deliver but our vast experience has enabled us to stay at the cutting edge of service delivery.Here in Dundee, we have favourable weather and fly this programme all year round. It is great for Scotland and for Dundee. I am very proud of my staff and flying instructors who do an outstanding job. We train more than 200 pilots a year at Dundee to the very highest standards recognised by the Royal Air Force.”
Tayside Aviation will soon also be launching a Professional Pilot degree programme in conjunction with Middlesex University, and Loganair.