Aircraft protection firm credits North Wales

Aircraft protection firm credits North Wales

The manufacturer of protective covers for aircraft, which supplies defence forces around the world, says moving to North Wales contributed to its success.

Air Covers relocated to Wrexham in 2014 and currently exports over 80% of its products around the world.

It is the main supplier for the Royal Swedish Air Force, the Omani and UAE Air Forces, the German Bundeswehr, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force amongst others.

Based on the Bryn Business Centre on Wrexham Industrial Estate, Air Covers employs nine full time designers and machinists and has taken part in various trade shows organised by the Welsh Government.  

It will be one of many Welsh companies taking part in the Welsh Government’s Export Market visit to China and Hong Kong in March this year. 

Helicopters are vulnerable to environmental damage from sand, ice, humidity and heat, so Air Covers have developed a range of products to protect against these hazards which would otherwise reduce operational time in the air.

The covers also reduce the need for maintenance, which over the lifetime of an aircraft can be more than three times the purchase price of the original helicopter.  

Commenting on the decision to move the company to North Wales CEO John Pattinson said: “The move to Wales was a key moment in the growth of Air Covers. Since 2006 we have become a global leader in our chosen niche - environmental protection for high value equipment.

“Our productivity, product range, quality and skills grew exponentially with investments in skills training and capital equipment.

“Our laser scanning and 3D modelling department had the space to grow and we partnered with local businesses for product testing.

“Within 18 months we had been approved by Airbus Helicopters and Bell Helicopters USA and diversified into marine and land equipment protection.

“It isn’t just the great support we’ve had from the Welsh Government, its agencies and Wrexham Council.

“We have also had support from many local businesses through the networking group, Wrexham Business Professionals. I feel we are part of regional growth story and we’re proud to be here.”

The company hope to start a close co-operation with nearby Wrexham Berwyn Prison where inmates will be given NVQ training in the manufacture of an Air Cover subsidiary, Klobbabags.  

Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: “It’s great to see a company like Air Covers thriving since it moved to North Wales.  

“It is a named supplier to most of the world’s military, to air sea rescue and charities, and it is set to continue to expand.  

“It has taken advantage of export opportunities offered by Welsh Government trade missions and has extensive international marketing experience.  

“It is a real asset to have this company in the region and it’s good to see how it is actively contributing to the community it is based in.”