Skyborne continues to aim high with takeover of US rival Vero Beach

The takeover by Gloucestershire Airport-based Skyborne of US-based rival pilot training business Vero Beach comes onto the radar just ahead of significant county news for the firm.

By Andrew Merrell  |  Published
Gloucestershire Airport-based Skyborne Airline Academy flies the flag announcing its latest acquisition.
Gloucestershire Airport-based Skyborne Airline Academy flies the flag announcing its latest acquisition.

Despite the aviation sector being hard-hit by the pandemic, the trio of entrepreneurs behind Staverton-based specialist pilot training business Skyborne show every sign of investing for the long term.

Chairman, Tom Misner; chief executive officer, Lee Woodward; and chief operating officer, Ian Cooper are also preparing to unveil purpose-built accommodation in Cheltenham for their students.

A social media post is the only recent confirmation of work on the Lansdown Road property is nearing completion and will soon be fit for its students in residence.

‘The countdown to unveil our new accommodation continues…. not long to go,’ is all the Facebook post says, alongside a picture of a partially shrouded typically Cheltenham Regency-fronted building.

Evans Jones dealt with the planning application for the property to be converted from use by the University of Gloucestershire to Skyborne.

Skyborne’s fully UK CAA Integrated ATPL Course is £95,000 including accommodation for the cost of completing the 12- to 18-month training programme.

Those opting to combine their pilot studies with a BSc degree from the University of West London are also eligible to be considered for the ‘Aviator Bursary’ totaling £9,000 towards the overall course fees, and to apply for student loan funding of up to £22,200.

The firm would not comment on an opening date, but it is believed doors could open this summer.

In the meantime, it is all about its new acquisition – Florida-based Vero Beach.
Mr Woodward said: ‘This is a great day for Skyborne as we expand our global training footprint.’

Other investments since the pandemic began include the launch of what it called SKYWORX, which enables students to continue to learn while restrictions of social movement exist, plus news those who study with Skyborne can now also complete an undergraduate honours degree in partnership with the University of West London (UWL).

Its academy has also become the first UK pilot training school to place an order for Bye Aerospace’s all-electric zero carbon emissions aircraft.

In January 2019, Skyborne was named as a leading training provider for IndiGo, India’s largest passenger airline.

By Andrew Merrell

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