Business at school nosedived as recession hit
MIKE Edgeworth set up the Pilot Training College just months after the 9/11 attacks.
Six years after being set up, the Pilot Training College (PTC) achieved a turnover of €11m at its holding company -- however, the worldwide recession that began in 2008 impacted on the numbers signing up with the school.
The PTC is based in Waterford but it has a training centre in Melbourne, Florida. It is co-located with the Florida Institute of Technology School, close to Cape Canaveral.
The reason for the training abroad is because the sunny climate lets the trainee pilots build up flying hours far more quickly than they could at PTC's home base, where the weather is less dependable.
After students build up their flight hours at Florida they return to Waterford for further training where a purpose-built facility is located. It includes a flight simulator, and the company describes Waterford as an "ideal location for instrument training" with no extreme weather and no slot delays for flight take-offs.
The company also has contracts with a number of commercial airlines, including Saudi Arabia's Nasair, to train their recruits.
PTC recently opened a third training centre in Cambridge, England.
The company says it has access to more than 49 modern aircraft and trains up to 300 pilots each year.