Making inroads to the Far East via Brunei, Piper appears to be following through on plans announced earlier this year to expand its influence on the other side of the world. Piper's plan would see it playing a key role in the opening of Brunei's first pilot academy. To move forward, Piper is currently seeking proposals from large training academies with which it could partner to supply initial pilot training for Asian airlines and a new Brunei aviation hub. The company's current owner is the Brunei-backed investment firm Imprimus, so the move is not as far from home as it may otherwise appear. For Piper's part, the venture could supply a new market for its single-engine Warrior. For Brunei, the open airspace could provide an attractive initial training environment for prospective pilots from its own and neighboring countries. Piper will be seeking an Asian-based executive to oversee the new academy's operations and develop other business opportunities. As distant and isolated as the prospective Brunei-based facility may seem, it will have competition ... some of which is already flying Pipers.
The Malaysian Flying Academy is one of Asia's largest pilot training centers. The Academy accepts both private and airline-backed students and already provides training for Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia pilots, and it flies a number of Warriors and Senecas.