View Full Version : Iron Maiden's Dickinson opens MRO firm at former RAF repair base
1st May 2012, 16:26
From Flight Global (http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/iron-maidens-dickinson-opens-mro-firm-at-former-raf-repair-base-371312/)
Captain Bruce Dickinson, singer of heavy metal band Iron Maiden, has opened a heavy maintenance company for commercial aircraft on the grounds of the former Royal Air Force repair base in St Athan, near Cardiff today.
He expects to create "up to 1,000 new jobs in South Wales" over the next 18 month with the firm called Cardiff Aviation. This is a "cautious projection ... based on the level of interest and commitment from aircraft manufacturers and operators", Dickinson says.
The RAF's maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) operations, which supported the UK's Vickers VC10 tanker fleet, were wound down earlier this year.
Cardiff Aviation wants to provide heavy maintenance for Airbus and Boeing types within the 132,000ft² (12,000m²) hangar, which can accommodate aircraft up to the size of the Boeing 767.
The first customers will "likely be 737 operators", according to the company, and will be revealed later this month. But Dickinson adds that "several more major and independent airlines" have shown interest in employing the business.
Another lease of life for Saints?
1st May 2012, 18:22
I hope it puts down roots. I have seen lots of big firms come and go, not with the wind, but with the grants and the tax breaks. Perhaps this one will prove self-sustaining.
1st May 2012, 18:38
I wish him luck.
ATC Lasham tried it there for a while, but then retreated back to their Lasham and Southend bases.
Unless he is getting some sweetheart deal from the WDA, or similar, that hangar represents a huge overhead.
1st May 2012, 19:36
Good intensions but ultimately he is likely to struggle.
Its often cheaper to fly aircraft to Eastern Europe or even the Middle East because their manpower rates are so low and even if he did attract the likes of Ryanair, they want to pay as little as possible. Additionally, because their aircraft are relatively new, there is little 'over and above' work that comes out of the routine maintenace.
Best of luck to all though.
1st May 2012, 20:02
It would be the kiss of death if he tried to do business with Ryanair. Bloody charlatans! Every single invoice is queried and even genuine ones don't get paid. I wouldn't touch them with a barge pole - and that's experience talking!
Although this is a very welcome and brave effort; Filling up a hangar is hard enough to do at the best of times, but when there's no money about and cheap labour across the narrow waters...
As Saintsman says - he's got a really tough near-time future ahead of him.
Best of luck to all concerned.
I heartily agree about dealing with Ryanair - Mickey bought their own hangar at Preswick because no MRO could make a penny out of them and all capable companies eventually refused to do work for them without money up front.
I too have had dealings with them and learned that it's always worth keeping something handy in your back pocket
(and I still remember those plentiful galley raids at STN with a bit of glee!)
2nd May 2012, 08:21
Unless he is getting some sweetheart deal from the WDA
Bingo! The WDA had their heart (and loads of cash) set on the new Defence school of technical training being built at St Athan. They had promised the good people of Llantwit Major loads of jobs on the back of it. IMHO, now that the school looks likely to be based on the RAF's outfit at Cosford, they need to be seen to be doing something for the local area and Bruce clearly persuaded them that he was the man.
Will there be a hangar party to open the place properly?
Have I missed something? Last I heard the Defence school of technical training was going into Lyneham, including the Cosford element.
2nd May 2012, 11:23
Sorry, my mistake.
BBC News - MoD reveals RAF Lyneham defence training centre plans (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-16736798)
Though the entry on the MOD website is now blank. What might we infer from that?
Oh, that's a worry - hopefully not significant or there will be some worried people in Wiltshire. Regards.
2nd May 2012, 12:23
I wish Bruce Dickinson luck, but as Richard Branson once said "The best way to become a millionaire in the aircraft business, it to start off a multi- millionaire"
Good luck to all involved.
2nd May 2012, 15:05
If I was Bruce, I'd Run to the Hills
He must have more money than he can handle. Wrong business, certainly wrong time. This venture has commercial disaster written all over it.
C'mon Bruce, please prove me wrong!
28th May 2012, 16:46
IRON MAIDEN'S BRUCE DICKINSON ON TOUR - OF CARDIFF AVIATION. - YouTube (http://youtu.be/JicKozYHj18)
He seems a satisfied bunny
29th May 2012, 10:17
It helps to understand Bruce to know that he wll have given the project VERY serious thought. Good luck to him - but I suspect he won't need too much luck, just get up and go. He has plenty of that.
29th May 2012, 16:28
orgASMic the WDA was abolished in April 2006. Bruce Dickinson has stated publicly that no financial incentive was given by the Welsh Assembly Government. Hunter Flying have moved from Exeter Airport to St Athan recently Hunter Flying Ltd - Home (http://www.hunterflyingltd.co.uk/) Saw a Hunter over Caerphilly last week heading towards Cardiff.
30th May 2012, 09:10
Don't get me wrong, I am a fan and I wish Bruce luck with the project. In the current climate he must have got a good deal to made the numbers add up, though.