While Cornwall Airport Newquay is best known for connecting Cornwall to a number of destinations across the UK and Europe, an increasing number of visitors to the Airport are finding themselves not checking in and catching a flight, but instead remaining firmly on the ground and doing business in and around the St Mawgan site itself.
Cornwall Airport Newquay provides over 180 permanent jobs in roles ranging from security officers to fire fighters, however there are also 16 other companies based on the 385 hectare site. Between them, these businesses employ an additional 300+ people - with hopefully even more new jobs being created by Spaceport Cornwall in the coming years, with their Virgin Orbit partnership.
Aerospace at its heart
As well as businesses that are completely independent from the functions of the Airport, such as local logistics company Holt Lloyd and modular building supplier CIS, many of the companies onsite are intrinsically linked to the Airport space. Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust and Bristow Search and Rescue use the airspace and Air Traffic facilities; Weston Aviation charter private flights into the Airport; and Apple Aviation maintains and builds aircraft parts.
Many sit within the Aerohub Business Park, an Enterprise Zone that allows planning freedom and rate relief to all new businesses within it as part of a Government initiative.
One company that has been boosted by its location at Cornwall Airport Newquay is FlyNQY. Previously Plymouth Flying School, the closure of Plymouth Airport saw relocation to Cornwall eight years ago.
Providing pilot training and flight experiences, FlyNQY also looks after general aviation customers arriving into and departing from the Airport; working with the Airport, FlyNQY deals with refuelling, parking, landing fees, and booking in and out with the Air Traffic Control team.
Cornwall Airport’s Air Traffic team combined with an all-weather runway, and all the safety features of a commercial Airport, allow FlyNQY to give their customers a professional experience.
British International Helicopters (BIH) was launched in 1986 and has been based in the South West for decades. Originally based at Penzance, the company moved its maintenance facility to Cornwall Airport Newquay in 2010, followed shortly afterwards by its flight operations in 2012. BIH employs 30 highly skilled staff at the airport from a total of 150 in the UK and Falkland Islands, and is the largest British-owned helicopter company.
BIH operates two AS365N2 Dauphin aircraft from its hangar on the North Side of the airport, providing helicopter support for the Royal Navy’s Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST), through HMS Raleigh, across the sea training areas in the South West Approaches. The location of Cornwall Airport Newquay, and the facilities it provides, is ideal for the type of operations carried out by BIH.
BIH is now looking to expand its training programme to include new helicopter types and reconfiguring its hangar space to accept larger visiting aircraft.
As a council-owned business, utilising the surrounding land and buildings gives the Airport the opportunity to increase and diversify revenue from purely commercial aviation. The links to such businesses as FlyNQY and BIH also build on the Airport’s offerings, whether it is to the general public, private aviation customers or the commercial airlines operating from the site.