Thursday 19 October 2017

Dickinson launches aviation firm

Iron Maiden frontman and pilot Bruce Dickinson has set up an aviation firm in South Wales
Iron Maiden frontman and pilot Bruce Dickinson has set up an aviation firm in South Wales

Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson is to bring thousands of tons of heavy metal and up to 1,000 new jobs to South Wales.

Dickinson, a commercial airline pilot and established aviation entrepreneur, has set up Cardiff Aviation Limited, which will provide specialist services to the airline industry.

The business will be based at St Athan Enterprise Zone in the Vale of Glamorgan, where it has taken 132,000 square feet of hangar space.

It is expected the first clients will be announced next month, and the first Boeing 747 simulator has been purchased and is due for delivery in June.

Dickinson, whose band were the subject of the documentary film Flight 666, said: "We're coming into this enterprise with the knowledge we'll be bringing business to South Wales.

"A cautious projection is that we'd expect to create up to a thousand jobs within 18 months based on the level of interest and commitment from aircraft manufacturers and operators. South Wales has long had an association with the aircraft industry and I am delighted I am able to play a small part in the continuation of that tradition."

Cardiff Aviation will be taking on the lease on the Welsh Government-owned Twin Peaks hangar to establish a maintenance repair and overhaul operation.

Dickinson, 53, who has flown his band in their "Ed Force One" Boeing 757 during an Iron Maiden world tour, said he was grateful to the Welsh Government for its support.

Among those welcoming the announcement was Wales's Business Minister Edwina Hart. She said: "The Welsh Government has been working closely with Bruce Dickinson and Cardiff Aviation on this exciting project for some time and we are delighted it has come to fruition.

"This is exactly the type of investment needed, which will create hundreds of well-paid skilled jobs in one of our key sectors."

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