Cornwall’s space and aerospace ambitions are being showcased to a global audience this week at the Farnborough International Airshow (FIA).
FIA features more than 1,500 exhibitors from around the world and is a must attend event in the global aerospace calendar.
The Aerohub team at Cornwall Airport Newquay has two stands at the show – one highlighting aerospace and another showcasing space, including Newquay’s suitability for the UK’s first Spaceport.
Both stands are supported by Cornwall Council and the Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Aerohub Enterprise Zone manager Miles Carden said: “Farnborough is the biennial showcase for the global aerospace industry and a rare opportunity to get the key players together in one location. It’s the place to be and Cornwall has a lot to sell right now.”
Cornwall is promoting the Aerohub Enterprise Zone at Cornwall Airport Newquay, which was extended in April to include Goonhilly Earth Station.
Enterprise Zones were created by the Government to boost business investment and job creation. They can offer reduced business rates, tax relief on investment, superfast broadband and simplified planning.
Aerohub includes one of the largest planning-free development areas in the west of England and is targeting three main sectors. These are pilot and SAR (search & rescue) training; maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft, and future flight technologies such as unmanned aerial systems and space plane technologies.
Newquay has one of the UK’s longest runways (2,744m), uncongested skies, access to segregated airspace and some of the UK’s newest airport infrastructure, which is why it is being promoted as a Spaceport location.
Goonhilly meanwhile has been at the forefront of satellite communications technology development and operation for more than 50 years and is already recognised as a key national space asset. Its capability spans tracking low-earth-orbit spacecraft and geostationary communication satellites through to deep space missions and radio astronomy research.
That capability is further underlined by today’s announcement at Farnborough that Goonhilly is to partner with Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd, the world’s leading small satellite company and part of Airbus Group, to transport commercial payloads to lunar orbit. Goonhilly will provide a dedicated mission operations centre in Cornwall.
Aerohub will also be the UK base for the BLOODHOUND Supersonic Car in June next year when it will be tested on Cornwall Airport Newquay’s runway at 220mph before being loaded onto a 747 for an 800mph land speed record attempt in South Africa in October. The first practice loading of BLOODHOUND SSC’s full-scale mock-up into a 747 took place at Farnborough yesterday.
Mark Duddridge, chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, who is at Farnborough, said: “Cornwall has a compelling offer to the global space and aerospace sectors which is why we are supporting Aerohub’s presence at Farnborough. Goonhilly’s status as mission control for future lunar missions further underlines our region’s credentials and the BLOODHOUND SSC runway testing at Newquay next year will put the eyes of the world on Cornwall.”
Adam Paynter, Cornwall Council Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Resources, said: “Farnborough gives Cornwall a global showcase for what we can offer the industry today, and for our ambitions for the future. Space and aerospace create skilled, well-paid jobs and we want Cornwall to win a much greater share of this growing market.”