Air Charter Scotland’s Commercial Director and Accountable Manager Derek Thomson is pleased to be appointed to the Board of The Air Charter Association (The ACA) supporting newly appointed CEO Glenn Hogben and fellow board directors. Derek will draw on his 25 years’ experience in aviation to offer support and advice to operators and charter brokers as The ACA, now in its 72nd year, continues to widen its global membership reach.
He is also keen to encourage the next generation of young aviation professionals, a passion he shares with Air Charter Scotland’s Sales Manager Michelle McMullan, who became one of The ACA’s Next Generation ambassadors in October last year.
“We are all experiencing a challenging and uncertain time as an industry, which has really tested our resilience. However, it is also a time of unchartered opportunity to prove our value as a business enabler,” Derek said.
“Since March last year business aviation is increasingly on the radar of new customers who turned to us because their regular airline route got cut, or they needed urgent repatriation. Medical professionals working around the clock to fight the pandemic booked with us on their itineraries, reassured by our sector’s safe, private, hygiene-safe cabins. When the world needed support – business aviation delivered, including several of our members’ jets equipped as air ambulances.”
“This is a great time for innovation too. We have lots of exciting developments ahead with the wider roll out of sustainable aviation fuel; hybrid and electric aircraft designs and the heightened use of drones for special mission work. The ACA is embracing and following developments with these important game changers,” he added.
Derek is especially supportive of the work the Association has instigated to fight against the scourge of grey/illegal charter flights, which has seen it garner support from international industry organisations including EBAA, MEBAA and AsBAA.
Air Charter Scotland continues to work closely with charter brokers and global operators who make up The ACA’s primary membership, as the 20-year-old business adds new bases and managed charter aircraft.
During his 25-year aviation career Derek has worked in rotary and fixed wing aircraft operations and sales, as well as FBO airport handling and operations. Derek made his first solo flight in a Robinson R22 helicopter aged 19 before obtaining his Private Pilot’s Licence. At Air Charter Scotland he has been closely involved in the company’s transition from a fleet of twin-engine piston and turboprop aircraft through to Cessna Citation C525 and Falcon 7X business jets. With a now fully worldwide operation and the creation of Air Charter Scotland Europe in January with a new European AOC, the company is gearing up to welcome additional managed aircraft and open new bases.
The Air Charter Association’s ‘Next Generation Group’ is a steering group created last October to promote and communicate to under 35s, the numerous, varied and rewarding opportunities a career in aviation can offer. It has held two virtual gatherings to date with more planned.
“We are well represented with operators, brokers, support suppliers and it’s a privilege to work alongside like-minded individuals to help shape the future of the industry and continue the professional development and best practices of The ACA,“ said Michelle McMullan, Air Charter Scotland Sales Manager.