The ambitions of the UK’s Police Aviation Services (PAS) to attract external training contracts have been boosted by news of a deal for its parent company, Specialist Aviation Services, to train pilots and maintenance technicians from the police air wing in Kuwait. Twelve pilots, most of them ab initio, and five technicians are now at the company’s Gloucester Airport headquarters in western England for courses lasting up to three years on both piston and light turbine helicopters.
After taking English language courses at a college in nearby Cheltenham, the pilots will start PPL(H) training at the airfield in Robinson R22s and eventually progress to turbine-powered Eurocopter AS 350Bs. The maintenance technicians, meanwhile, will take courses at a college in Bristol to train for their JAR 66 licenses. Specific maintenance training will also be provided in the UK on the AS 355 before the crews return to a fleet of two new EC 135s.
PAS managing director Jeremy Awenat said the contract will allow him to implement the company’s expansion plans in several areas. “The award really puts us on the external training map. We have built a reputation in the UK for providing solid, professional training to a high standard, and this endorsement will be noted around the world.”
Expanded facilities at Gloucester Airport will be ready for occupation in the summer. Announcement of a second PAS training contract win in the Middle East was imminent at press time.