A military aviation giant is preparing to expand its activities to Teesside Airport after winning a major defense contract.
Draken, which signed a long-term agreement with the airport in 2020 when it was known as Cobham Aviation, currently maintains a fleet of five specially modified Dassault Falcon jets at its existing base. Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) officials say the company’s growth will see the introduction of the Alca L-159E ‘Honey Badger’ advanced combat aircraft to Teesside’s public airstrip.
Draken recently took over Cobham Aviation Services which had operated at the airport for over 25 years . It creates surveillance technologies and aeronautical services for military and civilian customers around the world.
Read more: A new lifesaving defibrillator will arrive at the soft play center after a man collapses
The proposed additional hangar comes after Draken was awarded a three-year training service contract with the Ministry of Defense – with an option for a three-year extension. Planning documents show that the new hangar would house up to eight aircraft and create thirty jobs . It would occupy a brownfield site between two existing aircraft warehouses.
If approved, a new facility of around 5,000 square feet will be built next to the company’s existing Hangar 360 – with the new aircraft expected to fly several times a day on exercises over the North Sea. Planning documents also show that they will use the same aircraft apron as is currently in use – with aircraft maneuvered in and out of the hangar using tugs.
Mayor of Tees Valley Ben Houchen praised the company’s long-term commitment to Teesside Airport – and how it had grown to secure more prestigious employment contracts. The Tory Mayor added: ‘That is exactly what he is doing here as he is bringing more aircraft to Teesside to extend his expert training services to customers around the world.
“This is another vote of confidence in Teesside Airport from a company that has recognized its importance for years. This news could not have come at a better time as we move forward. towards our 2022 construction year, by launching work on our new business park and capitalizing on our heritage and assets.
“This new park will attract even more businesses to the site which, like Draken, will help to enhance it even further while securing its future.” Paul Armstrong, boss of Draken Europe, said the company had been trusted to bring technologically advanced training to the RAF and Royal Navy for many years.
He added: “Our Teesside team takes very seriously the important role they play at a national level in training UK military personnel and its strategic allies, delivering a range of cross-platform effects using technologies new generation. With the introduction of the L-159E, we are proud to bring an entirely new capability to the UK defense industry and to Teesside – particularly at a time when geopolitical events have highlighted the need for our armed forces. that staff are trained effectively to defend themselves against attacks”.
For a summary of North East regional politics and affairs straight to your inbox, go here to sign up for the free Northern Agenda newsletter.