The Stockport-based company has invested £612k to purchase a new Vulcanair P68C, a six seater twin engine aircraft that has a top speed of 300km per hour and a maximum range of almost 3,000km.
Founded in 1987, APEM specialises in aquatic sciences, particularly the study and management of freshwater and marine habitats. Its aerial work includes surveys of river, lakes and costal habitats for clients such as the Environment Agency, water & power companies, conservation agencies and planners & developers.
In the last 12 months APEM's turnover has grown by almost 50% to £6.3m mainly due to sustained demand for aerial surveys to help position off-shore wind farms. The company has also opened new offices in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Chester and recently recruited its 100th employee.
Dr Keith Hendry, APEM's Managing Director, said: "We made the decision several years ago to purchase our own aircraft and survey camera equipment and employ our own full time pilots. This enables us to conduct surveys under the optimal environmental conditions and this has been a significant factor behind our growth. We have made this addition to our aerial fleet to ensure that we can continue providing a fast and flexible response to our client's needs."
Lombard, the asset finance arm of The Royal Bank of Scotland, provided a £400k loan to part fund the purchase.
Andrew Bailey, Lombard Relationship Manager, said: "APEM has a long track record of making capex investments to deliver the best possible results for its clients. This is the second aircraft Lombard has financed in recent years and we look forward to working with them on future projects."