Media Release: Coventry Airport gears up for business

LESS than five weeks after acquiring Coventry Airport, Sir Peter Rigby’s aviation group, Patriot Aerospace, has signed a £4million contract with Serco for air traffic services.

The objective is to get Coventry Airport fully operational as quickly as possible and provide the highest levels of air traffic services with full radar and instrumental approaches.

Sir Peter Rigby, chair of Patriot Aerospace Group, who purchased the airfield in April following its liquidation, said:

“We are confident we have selected the best option in Serco for the future air traffic service for the Airport, and with the co-operation of the Civil Aviation Authority and the new provider we will have full air traffic services operational shortly.

“This underpins our strategy to resume full normal operations, including attracting business jet traffic, freight and potentially future airline operations. Since acquiring the airfield we have created some 30 new jobs, introduced the first new aviation business in the form of Heliflight, our own helicopter flying training school, seen the launch of the new Air Base operation and secured approximately 400 jobs in tenant businesses on and associated with the airport.

“We are now preparing our plans for its future development and expect to progress these in the coming months.”

Serco is totally committed to getting Coventry Airport fully operational and chief executive of Serco’s civil aviation business, Andrew White, said:

“As the world’s leading private sector provider of civil and military air traffic services, we are looking forward to helping return Coventry Airport to full operations.

“Serco operates on a global basis and handles about six million aircraft movements each year at airports in Europe, the Middle East and North America.

“We will bring that expertise to bear on establishing our service at Coventry with a specialist team in place to provide safe and secure air traffic services.”

Sir Peter has a long track record of investing in the West Midlands region where he is a major employer and vocal champion. His international technology group, SCH plc, has its headquarters and main campus in Birmingham, while his luxury country hotel group, the Eden Collection, owns Mallory Court in Leamington Spa and is joint venturing with the Royal Shakespeare Company to re-open Stratford-Upon Avon’s Arden hotel, later this year.


Notes to Editors

About Patriot Aerospace Group

Formally known as Patriot Aviation, the Patriot Aerospace Group is a leading general aviation specialist in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. With operations spanning a full range of national flight training, charter, sales and engineering operations, the group combines three distinct brands, each recognised as experts in their field. It operates from six air bases: Cranfield, Enniskillen, Gloucester, Redhill and Wolverhampton and Coventry.

Patriot Aerospace operates through three specialist aviation businesses: Patriot Aviation, Heliflight and London Helicopter Centres. Through these brands, customers have access to a nationwide and end to end general aviation service, including learning to fly, buying or chartering; refurbishment, avionics, engineering and maintenance; and affordable access to VIP business and leisure helicopter charter.

For more information about the group, visit http:// Sir Peter Rigby

Sir Peter Rigby is a high-profile business leader and one of the UK’s top entrepreneurs with an international outlook and experience of working on a European and global basis. He is a regional ambassador, vocal champion and a major employer in the Midlands and has his international business headquarters in Birmingham.

Knighted in the Queen’s Jubilee honours for services to information technology and business in the community, Sir Peter is a recognised leader in the field of I.T.

He founded, owns and chairs one of the UK’s top ten largest privately owned companies, the SCH group. It employs some 7,000 professionals based in seven European countries, with associated relationships around the world. He created this business from scratch in 1975, with a £2,000 investment, and its present annual turnover is £2.5 billion.

Sir Peter’s business interests have further developed around an interest in and passion for aviation and hospitality.

He owns the Eden Group of Country House hotels and the fast growing aviation group, Patriot Aerospace.

He is an enthusiastic and experienced fixed wing and helicopter pilot. His charitable foundation was established some 15 years ago (The Rigby Foundation) and he is Chairman and Patron or Trustee of several major charities.

About Serco

Serco is a FTSE 100 international service company which combines commercial know-how with a deep public service ethos. It improves services by managing people, processes, technology and assets more effectively. Serco advises policy makers, designs innovative solutions, integrates systems and – most of all – delivers to its customers.

Serco is considered the only significant non-government provider of air traffic services in the world. The company has extensive experience of providing air traffic control services and maintaining the serviceability of air traffic equipment in order to provide safe and timely service.

In addition to its work in the UK across a number of military and civil airfields, Serco operates 54 air traffic control towers for the US Federal Aviation Administration, and provides air traffic engineering, meteorological services, rescue and fire-fighting services, electronic and electrical maintenance services.

In the Middle East, it successfully rebids for the contract in the United Arab Emirates – held since 1986 – to provide air traffic control and engineering services at the Emirates Area Control Centre in Abu Dhabi.

For more information contact:

Judy Groves: / Tel 0121 766 2594

Louise Acton: / Mobile 07595 355 938

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