The Dundee-born founder of one of Scotland’s largest care home groups is the new owner of Tayside Aviation.
Tony Banks, founder of Balhousie Care Group, has acquired the 53-year-old business from the Watt family.
Under the ownership of newly-formed ARB Aviation, the Watt family will continue to run Tayside Aviation, which provides training for pilots and aviation professionals, as an international aviation centre of excellence.
The company hopes to become an international player in the aviation training sector.
It aims to offer first-class facilities to attract both global and local candidates.
Acquisition is an important step for Dundee
Mr Banks said: “ARB Aviation is excited to be on this journey with Tayside Aviation.
“It is an important step not only for Dundee and for Scotland, but also for the revival of the UK’s aviation sector.
“We look forward to building on Tayside Aviation’s stellar reputation and to working with the team to take the company to even greater heights.
“That includes working with international and UK partners, local high schools in Dundee and Dundee Airport.”
The business will also be exploring ways and means of lowering its carbon footprint.
It is looking into converting its fleet to electric planes.
Mr Banks added: “This is the latest sign that Dundee is emerging as a business centre and an investment hub.
“It also puts the sunniest city in Scotland at the forefront of aviation training excellence.”
An exciting time for Tayside Aviation
Tayside Aviation managing director Jim Watt hopes the new ownership can build upon the momentum of the firm.
He said: “We plan to work closely with Dundee Airport to raise the profile of what we see as an important Scottish transport hub.
“This is an exciting time for Tayside Aviation and for Dundee.”
Convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee Mark Flynn said the decision was not just a vote in confidence in the business, but in the city.
As well as training private and commercial pilots, Tayside Aviation has also formed partnerships to expand its offerings.
These include a BSc (Hons) Aviation Pilot degree through the University of Central Lancashire, while other partnerships include the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the International Air & Space Training Institute (IASTI).
Chief flight instructor James Whitby said the partnerships would help develop “cutting-edge” training models and pathways into the industry.