Star Capital Partners


News Index

13 December 2007   

GCAT Flight Academy to purchase the BAE Systems Manchester Training Centre

GCAT Flight Academy is pleased to announce the acquisition of the BAE Systems Regional Aircraft Customer Training Centre business at Woodford, Manchester, UK.

The Manchester Training Centre provides pilot, cabin crew and maintenance training for the Avro RJ, BAE146, ATP and Jetstream 31/32 aircraft types.

The facility, which is located at the BAE Systems Woodford Aerodome, is currently configured with two 146, one ATP, and one Jetstream 31/32 Full Flight Simulators. All the currently employed staff will be transferring to GCAT Flight Academy.

This purchase further expands the capabilities of GCAT Flight Academy to include maintenance training for the first time using the Manchester based JAR 147 approved organisation.

Brian Simpson, CEO of GCAT Flight Academy said: "We are very pleased that the Manchester business is joining the GCAT Flight Academy group. The business is highly complementary to our existing operations and will give customers of the 4 aircraft types a wider network of expertise and experience. BAE Systems Regional Aircraft can be assured we will provide them with long term support for their aircraft fleets in a highly efficient and high quality manner. Following the addition of Oxford Aviation Training earlier this year, this is a further demonstration of the increasing range of our services, and our ambitious growth plans."

Mark Taylor, Director of Strategy and Business Development for BAE Systems Regional Aircraft commented: "Our goal has been to secure the long term future of the Manchester training business, and its employees. This will ensure the continuing support for the Regional Aircraft fleets. GCAT Flight Academy's specialist expertise in managing training on a worldwide basis will create the potential for better service offerings to BAE Systems and to our customer airlines."


GCAT Flight Academy was formed earlier this year following the purchase of GE Commercial Aviation Training, SAS Flight Academy and Oxford Aviation Training by majority shareholder, STAR Capital Partners. Following the acquisition of the Manchester training centre, the group will operate 56 Simulators, consolidating its position as the largest flight training organisation in Europe, with in excess of 350 customers worldwide.

GCAT Flight Academy is majority owned by STAR Capital Partners, a leading European investment fund with particular expertise in the Transportation sector. GE Commercial Aviation Services (GECAS) is also a shareholder and has an agreement with GCAT Flight Academy to support GECAS' aircraft training needs worldwide. The headquarters are at Fleming Way, Crawley, UK. The company now operates 10 training centres located in Copenhagen, Hong Kong, London (Gatwick), London (Heathrow), Manchester, Oslo, Oxford, Phoenix, Riga and Stockholm, and offers training on a comprehensive range of aircraft types. Pilot Training is provided from ab initio through to type and line training. Cabin Crew and Maintenance Training are also provided.

GCAT Flight Academy has over 500 employees and is an aircraft OEM entitlement training provider for Airbus, Embraer, Saab and BAE Systems.

For further information please contact Nick Lockwood Tel: +44 7799 658787 or email

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