Image: FTA Global
Sad news for UK flight training academy FTA-Global as it has been forced to enter in to administration, becoming the second UK Approved Training Organisation (ATO) to fold this year, following the demise of Tayside Aviation last month.
FTA, based at Brighton City Airport, is an ATO specialising in commercial flight training programmes, both integrated and modular and was the only integrated academy providing all of its training in the UK.
Due to its location on the UK’s south coast the school was well placed to provide dual EASA/UK CAA licence training, being in close proximity to EU airspace, able to undergo EASA Instrument Rating testing at nearby Le Touquet Airport.
Earlier this year the school had introduced a ‘Fair Fees’ payment programme for future intakes of students, allowing them to spread their training payments rather than depositing large sums upfront. Unfortunately, early indications appear to show that a significant number of students who commenced their training ahead of the ‘Fair Fees’ programme will still potentially be left significantly out of pocket if the administrators, FRP Advisory, are unable to recover the school and sell it as a going concern.
According to sources, FTA’s closure had been preceded by the company’s aircraft maintenance business being declared insolvent just a few days previously.
Established in 2006, FTA had quickly grown to become one of the leading ATOs in the UK, earning a reputation for high-level quality of training. Alumni from FTA have joined airlines from the UK, EU and further afield.
Letter to students
In a letter sent to students and staff members the evening before the school’s closure, seen by FTN, FTA MD Sean Jacob said: “It’s with a very heavy heart that I write this note to you all this evening… I have explored every possible avenue to avoid this and, even today, I had hoped there might be a route forward. I can confirm that one of our competitors is already in discussions with the landlord about rapidly opening a satellite operation here at Shoreham Airfield and that they plan to do this very quickly. I will be in contact with other commercial flying schools to see how they might be able to help.
“I am very sorry. I have already made considerable personal investment to try and keep FTA Global going. I have nothing left to give… Flying Time Limited is not in a position to make any immediate refunds. We are working with an Insolvency Practitioner from FRP Advisory and their details will be available on our website from tomorrow.
“We will ensure all training records are brought completely up to date over the next few days and these will all be available to you via FlightLogger. We will keep the FlightLogger accounts active for the next month. Some students are just awaiting a test flight to finish and their tests are already booked and paid for… This will be the same situation for students who had exams booked with the CAA this week.”