Welsh aerospace centre to run up £25m bill, claims industry report


Plans to convert a Welsh airfield into an aerospace centre of excellence trialling remotely piloted vehicles is predicted to cost local authorities up to £25m.

It is intended that the airfield would be developed as a Centre of Excellence for remotely piloted vehicles (including land and marine vehicles, and aircraft) to restore the historical use of the site by the Ministry of Defence.

It is estimated that the development of Snowdonia Aerospace Centre into a Centre of Excellence for the development and trailing of UAVs could lead to the creation of 100 jobs in the local area and 3,000 across Wales.

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A report from Gwynedd Council found that approximately £1.5m has been spent developing infrastructure at Llanbedr airfield but a new road is needed.

Gwynedd Council reported that improving the infrastructure would also strengthen the case to license the site as a space port, which could, in turn bring a significant number of additional jobs, to the area, and to Wales.

A spokesperson for the authority said: “To achieve these results, a significant investment to improve infrastructure on site will be required (such as the runways, the Air Traffic Control system and some buildings) and to create a new access road which would avoid the constraints experienced in the centre of Llanbedr village.

“Additionally, creating a new Access road would address the Transport challenges currently experienced in the village due to the layout of the existing road, especially during the summer months when a significant number of visitors come to the village.”

A full application to the Welsh European Funding Office will be submitted before the end of 2017

Tags : aerospaceAir Traffic ControlairfieldLlanbedr airfieldUAV
Emma Calder

The author Emma Calder

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