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Home / Latest News / Aviation firm co-founded by Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson secures £5m investment

Aviation firm co-founded by Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson secures £5m investment

An aircraft maintenance business co-founded by the lead singer of Iron Maiden is set to be pumped with a £5m investment in what will help the company have a “much wider impact across the entire South Wales aerospace industry”.

Cardiff Aviation, the aircraft maintenance and flight training organisation established last July by veteran rock star Bruce Dickinson and business partner Mario Fulgoni, has agreed inward investment of £5 million.

Finance Wales, the UK SME investment company and Welsh Government subsidiary, has contributed £1.6m to the project, with the remainder of the sum coming from private or privately-owned investors including Dickinson and Fulgoni.

Fulgoni, the company’s joint chief executive, said the money would allow for expansion of their senior management team as well as letting the business build on the list of maintenance and operational approvals certification it already possesses.

This will include the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 21 Design Approval.

“This means Cardiff Aviation will be permitted to manufacture and certify aircraft parts alongside our maintenance and training operations, thereby providing us with a full opportunity to exploit the range of technical equipment and expertise we acquired in taking over Twin Peaks from the RAF, and in establishing Cardiff Aviation,” said Mr Fulgoni.

Finance Wales’ part in the investment came from the £150 million Wales JEREMIE Fund, and Mr Dickinson is hopeful the money will spur on the existing growth already made by the fledgling company.

Joint CEO and singer Mr Dickinson, who is himself a 7,000 hour Boeing 757 pilot, said: “The Welsh Government has played a fantastic role in a difficult economic environment in providing tremendous support and enthusiasm. Finance Wales’ long-term backing is the fuel not just to put St Athan on the map, but has the potential to create a consequentially much wider impact across the entire South Wales aerospace industry.

“As for Cardiff Aviation, the first key role we plan to fill is that of commercial director. We will follow up with expansion of the operational and technical teams to address our current growth trend and increasingly lucrative contracts with both UK and international aviation businesses. We also plan to invest in more engineering equipment to supplement and enhance the already excellent technical capability at Cardiff Aviation.”

With the company located at St Athan Enterprise Zone in the Vale of Glamorgan, it boasts 32,000sq ft of hangar space capable of accommodating aircraft up to the size of a Boeing 767-300, and parking for up to 20 narrow bodied commercial airliners.

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology Jeff Cuthbert said new growth would open up more opportunities for Cardiff Aviation and “expand their capability”.

And Finance Wales’ Senior Investment Executive, Nick Larcombe said Mr Dickinson and Mr Fulgoni’s “passion for the aviation industry” would “drive the business forward”.

The cash injection will now see Cardiff Aviation target the $2 billion European MRO market, which is currently growing at around three per cent a year as commercial airlines look to outsource fleet maintenance.

Gerallt Jones, head of corporate and banking at Hugh James, the law firm engaged as legal advisers on the deal, said:  “It is very pleasing to see such an ambitious business establish itself in Wales and contribute to the rapidly expanding aviation sector in the region. We have worked with numerous aviation clients in recent years and we are committed to helping businesses, like Cardiff Aviation, attract investment and grow in a sector which has the potential to provide major employment opportunities and considerable economic benefit to Wales.”

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