On Wednesday 19th July Aerospace Wales hosted it’s latest Member’s Meeting at GE Aerospace’s engine MRO facility in Nantgarw.

The meeting included an update on Aerospace Wales events by Rachael Blackburn followed by Jeff Jones of Welsh Government providing an update on SMART FIS and the Circular Economy Fund.

Dave Hoare provided an overview of activities at the site and future developments. This was followed by a tour of the Shops and Test Cell 4. Much of the tour was conducted by young people at the beginning of their careers who spoke knowledgeably and enthusiastically about the facility and their experience.

The first major engine overhaul facility was established as a wartime measure at Treforest in 1940 by the then recently established British Overseas Airways Corporation. BOAC’s successor British Airways sold the business to GE in 1991. GE also took a 49% stake in the NORDAM Europe facility at Blackwood.

In 1999 the company joined with three British Airways Engineering facilities, the Defence Aviation Repair Agency (DARA) and NORDAM to form the South Wales Aerospace Group (SWAG) to help promote the sector and to support skills development and recruitment, under the brand of Aerospace Wales. This laid the foundation of the Aerospace Wales Forum, established in 2002 to cover all of Wales and to extend membership to smaller companies.

It’s fair to say that the company has been with us right from the beginning.

Today the site is a major overhaul and repair centre for the GE90 and CFM56 engines and is being prepared to receive the GE9X when that enters service.

The Aerospace Wales and Space Wales team at the event included Madeleine Pinder, Rachael Blackburn, Rosie Cane and John Whalley FRAeS, supported by Aerospace Wales Ambassadors Geraint Spearing of DE&S, Viv Compton of Industry Learning Solutions Limited, Helen Swift of Airbus and Aerospace Wales MRO Hub co-chair Steve Beasley of Metrology Engineering Services.