Alasdair is Bostonair Technical Training’s (BTTL) Online Training Manager & Part 147 Examination Manager and works closely with Paul Gash – Head of Training to deliver type training courses on an annual basis and is also responsible for online sales. BTTL has experienced rapid growth over the last two years, and Alasdair details this as well as his long personal development journey with Bostonair Group.
BS: Hello Alasdair, let’s start with an easy question, what do you like to do outside of work? What hobbies do you enjoy?
AP: I’ve got a three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, so she keeps me busy most of the time. Outside of that, I like to keep myself active. I’m a keen follower of sports, I enjoy reading, watching movies and travelling (when we were able to!!). However, the current pandemic has meant that I am spending more time relaxing with my family, which is a real positive!
BS: You have been at Bostonair for 14 years, how has the business and your role changed in this time?
AP: It’s varied a great deal. There were 8 people when I joined, compared to the 50+ now at our head office. It was good, every day was different, and you got to be agile at thinking on your feet. As the business has grown my role has developed away from a more administrative function, and I became focused on the Technical Training division. For the last 7 years, I have worked hard on developing and growing the business. Despite the current pandemic, 2020 was in fact a record sales year for BTTL, something I’m very proud of.
BS: Was working in Aviation Technical Training always your career aspiration?
AP: Not at all. I have two uncles who both hold private pilot licences, so I have always had an interest in aviation and planes. But as a career, it’s very much something I’ve fallen into through joining Bostonair and the subsequent development of my role. I have come to particularly enjoy aviation and have learnt a lot about the subject over the years through reading in my own time and attending training courses. We have aviation experts within the wider Group and I have learned a lot from those colleagues also.
BS: What does your role look like in 2021?
AP: My main job role for this year is maintaining regulatory compliance, particularly since Brexit, and with BTTL now operating with Part 147 CAA and EASA (Third Country) approvals. I’ll also be looking at ensuring the business continues its recent growth trajectory. The online training arm of BTTL continues to perform strongly, and the ability to perform Part 147 approved type training courses online has been a game-changer. This has opened us up to new clients worldwide and we get enquiries from aviation organisations interested in these courses almost on a daily basis.
BS: Why should aviation and aerospace organisations choose BTTL in your view?
AP: Our core company values are at the heart of everything we do. Quality, safety reliability, integrity and fairness. We very much adhere to those by providing high-quality courses and priding ourselves in our compliance. The situation on the ground can change very quickly and the business must not only be agile, but robust enough to be able to work around that, whilst also ensuring we deliver value for money to our customer base.
BS: What are the range of services BTTL offer to the aviation industry?
AP: It spans two main areas. We have our Part 147 approval and offer a range of classroom type training, historically the A300 was our main type, largely because our Part 147 was developed to support our Part 145 operation, which has a significant contract with EAT/DHL in Leipzig, Germany. We also deliver a large volume of compliance training, I.e. Human Factors, Fuel Tank Safety EWIS, and in 2020 we delivered this to customers across 60+ different countries across the globe, covering every continent (except for Antarctica). In 2021 BTTL will launch several new online compliance training courses. Keep following Bostonair’s social media feeds and the website as they will be announced in due course.
BS: BTTL has grown rapidly in the last couple of years, what is behind this growth and do you see this continuing?
AP: As highlighted above, BTTL was originally launched with the objective to support Bostonair’s Part 145 with technical training that was difficult to find elsewhere or cost-prohibitive.
However, over the past few years, we’ve started to widen our type course portfolio and other services. Our strategy has been to start to move away from providing technical training on the older legacy aircraft types as our customer’s fleets evolved away from those to some of the newer aircraft types. This is to ensure we can continue to deliver success for them both now and in the future by keeping this kind of alignment. The positive effect of an expanded offering is that we can now approach other carriers, (both freight and passenger) with the message that we can deliver training on the aircraft types in their fleet too. This has been hugely important in our recent growth.
BTTL are also in the process of developing a growth strategy for the next 3-5+ years. As mentioned previously, BTTL have some very exciting ongoing conversations with new and potential clients.
How has BTTL been able to deal with the COVID Pandemic?
AP: The ability to deliver the theory portion of type training courses online was a gamechanger for us. We jumped on that very quickly and were the first company in the UK to receive approval from CAA to undertake type training online. I am delighted to say that it has been very successful, and from May 2020 onwards most of our theory training was delivered online. Last year we achieved record sales which completely validated our business strategy of trying to move type courses online.
BS: What are you most proud of achieving during your time with Bostonair Group?
AP: I’m proud of the growth so far and developing the idea of moving our type training online. This also really supports our own engineers, removing the travel and disruption to their shifts. We’ve been able to supply over 400 clients a year with this training offer and it’s still growing!
BS: What has working for Bostonair Group been like for you, and what would you recommend to others about the business?
AP: At Bostonair we’re given a good deal of flexibility on how we run the BTTL business unit. I’ve seen a significant amount of growth in my time with the Group, whilst still maintaining those core values. The team here at Bostonair Group is extremely strong, with everyone pulling in the same direction.
BS: On a final Alasdair what new services will BTTL be rolling out in 2021?
AP: We’ll have the B777 added to our scope of approval soon and a few other types that we’d like to develop following extensive client feedback. BTTL are also looking at some additional online compliance courses to add to our training offer. Watch this space!
If you have a training request be it online, classroom-type training or other training topics, please contact Alasdair on 01482 679757 or firstname.lastname@example.org – more information on Bostonair Group’s capabilities and services at www.bostonair.co.uk.