History of AST

John Davenport SiddeleyThe Aeronautical Engineering College, founded by John Davenport Siddeley opened in 1931 at Hamble in Hampshire and operated there until 1960, when it moved to the present venue. During its history, we have trained over 160,000 engineers and pilots from 150 countries.

For many years Air Service Training (previously Airwork Services Training) was a member of the British & Commonwealth group of companies responsible to the main Company Board via Airwork Limited at Hurn. After a management buy-out in 1988 the Bricom Group of Companies were formed and AST became responsible to the main Board via Bristow Helicopters Limited.

In November 1991, as a result of another management buy-out Air Service Training Limited became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bristow Helicopter Group Limited. With the closure of the AST Flying college, the Aeronautical Engineering College became a wholly owned subsidiary of Perth College UHI in September 1996, when the newly formed company name was changed to Air Service Training (Engineering) Limited.

As you might expect from such a long-standing organisation, AST has an impressive list of former students having trained such famous aviators as: Mrs Victor Bruce, the first female pilot to circumnavigate the globe; Amy Johnson, famous for her record-breaking flights to Australia and Japan, and Sir Alan Cobham, founder of the famous ‘flying circus’ and the Cobham Company which is still trading internationally today.

The core business of the College has been approved by ARB/CAA/JAA./EASA for training of aeronautical maintenance engineers in all categories and professional pilots.

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