Boeing 767

Iron Maiden singer creating jobs with new aviation firm

A new aviation firm that could create up to 1,000 new jobs in South Wales has been set up by Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson.

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.

"We're coming into this enterprise with the knowledge we'll be bringing business to South Wales,” Dickinson said.

"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 (MRO) operation.

As well as providing maintenance for aircraft up to Boeing 767 size, the firm will offer training packages and technical support services.

Dickinson, 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.

He also said the venture could provide a welcome boost to Cardiff Airport.

"The added value we can bring to the package is, while the team is expert in the provision of technical services, we also have expertise in aircraft sourcing and leasing.

"This is another key aspect to the deployment of a total aviation services package, hopefully including the development of new airline services for South Wales.

"Cardiff Airport has tremendous potential to challenge the successful English regional airports," Dickinson said.

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