Air traffic service provider, NATS has taken over tower operations at St Athan Airfield as of 1 April.
Based in the Vale of Glamorgan near Cardiff, St Athan became a civilian aerodrome in 2019 after more than 80 years as an RAF base. It is now operated by Cardiff Airport and owned by the Welsh Government.
From 1 April both the tower and air traffic engineering teams will transfer from the previous provider to NATS, joining 13 other UK airports where it provides the air traffic service.
Ceri Mashlan, Director of Operations at Cardiff Airport, said: “Whilst these are difficult times, we are really pleased to welcome NATS to the St Athan airfield as part of their 10 year contact with Cardiff Airport.
“St Athan is key to our diverse airport business, and we are delighted that NATS will be providing their operational excellence and expertise to both our passenger operation and now the St Athan aerodrome.”
St Athan is popular with general aviation pilots and is the home of the University of Wales Air Squadron, flying Air Training Corps cadets; a training school, and a number of aircraft engineering and maintenance services. As a civil airfield, it now forms part of the Bro Tathan Business Park, a flagship development project for the Welsh Government designed to attract high quality employment to the area.
Guy Adams, NATS Commercial Director said: “These may be challenging times for the aviation industry, but we are absolutely delighted to be welcoming the St Athan tower and engineering teams into the NATS family and to be working with Cardiff Airport and the Welsh Government to support their aspirations for the airport going forward."
Aidan Cottee is the NATS General Manager at Cardiff Airport & Aberporth Ranges and will now also take responsibility for the St Athan operation. He added: “We’ve been working towards this transition for several months and it’s clear to me that the team of controllers and engineers are all dedicated professionals committed to offering pilots the best possible service.”