|New home for CAT|
|Tuesday, 14 August 2012 00:00|
The recently formed Classic Aircraft Trust (CAT) has announced that it is to move its aircraft collection from AIRBASE at Coventry Airport down to Newquay Airport, Cornwall. A lease has been taken out on Newquay’s Hangar 404, where Hawker-Siddeley Nimrods were maintained when the site was known as RAF St Mawgan. This will provide 62,000ft2 of indoor display and maintenance space, and house the largest operational fleet of vintage jets in the UK.
There are also offices and reception facilities which will house the Trust, a shop, visitors’ centre and catering facilities. During the summer months pleasure flying will be offered in the CAT’s Dragon Rapides, Percival Prentice and Percival Proctor. The Classic Aircraft Trust collection will now trade under the name Classic Air Force.
The move to Newquay will see CAT become the first investor in the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership’s Aerohub Enterprise Zone at the airport. This will offer a number of benefits, including business rate relief and a streamlined planning regime. A total of 27 full-time jobs will be created for engineers, flight crew, technicians and administrative staff, with about six additional part-time jobs on offer.
The collection, which has its roots in the Air Atlantique Historic Flight and Classic Flight, has been based at Coventry Airport for three decades. Air Atlantique will continue to operate and have an engineering facility at Coventry, so CAT aircraft will still be frequent visitors. CAT chairman Tim Skeet says: “This is a major step forward for the Trust and indeed for Cornwall. We will be setting up a living, functioning museum in the heart of tourist country, giving the Trust a real opportunity to cover its costs and raise the funds needed to keep our unique fleet of aircraft in airworthy condition.” The gates were due to be open at Newquay at the beginning of September.