Bruce Dickinson Brings Heavy Metal To Wales

Iron Maiden star sets up aviation company

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He may have rocked all over the world but his latest heavy metal venture sees Bruce Dickinson turning into an entrepreneur.

The Chiswick-based lead vocalist with Iron Maiden has set up an aviation company in Wales to provide maintenance services to the airline industry.

Dickinson, who has sunk over £1million into the new venture hopes that Cardiff Aviation Limited will provide over 1,000 jobs over the next eighteen months.

The project will be a new focus for the 53-year old singer, who lost his work as a commercial pilot for Astraeus Airlines last year when the airline collapsed. He heard the news while in the air flying 250 pilgrims from Mecca home to the UK.

He has worked as a commercial pilot for years, having learned to fly in Florida in the 1990s, and in recent years has scaled down his worldwide tours with the heavy metal band.

The new 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 which had been lying idle for some time.

It is understood that the first Boeing 747 simulator has been purchased and is due for delivery in June. 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. He said today (Wednesday, May 2nd) that a number of major airlines were also expressing an interest.

The 53-year songwriter also said the venture could provide a welcome boost to Cardiff Airport.

Dickinson said: "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."

Politicians in Wales have welcomed the investment and said Cardiff Airport has tremendous potential to challenge the successful English regional airports.

The Iron Maiden singer, who has lived in Chiswick for many years, and raised a family here, is also an international fencer.

May 2, 2012