Aviation services and technology firm Draken Europe is set to expand its operations at Teesside Airport after the submission of a planning application to construct a new hangar to house more aircraft.
Draken, which signed a long-term deal with the airport in 2020 when it was known as Cobham Aviation Services UK, currently maintains a fleet of five specially modified Dassault Falcon jets at its airport base, and the new growth will see the introduction of the Alca L-159E “Honey Badger” advanced combat jet to Teesside.
The firm, which has been at the airport for more than 25 years, combines advanced aviation and surveillance technologies with highly skilled people to deliver a range of mission-critical global aviation services for military and civil customers worldwide.
This latest investment from the firm will support the delivery of aviation training contracts with organisations such as the UK’s Ministry of Defence, while creating a further 25 to 30 direct jobs, with positions being advertised now.
When approved, the almost 5,000sq ft new facility will be situated next to the firm’s existing Hangar 360, and the new aircraft are expected to be in the air several times a day on exercise over the North Sea.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Draken has been a long-standing and valued partner of Teesside Airport for decades. In that time the company has just grown and grown, securing more prestigious and nationally significant contracts, helping it to create well-paid, good-quality jobs for people within aviation and engineering.
“That’s exactly what it’s doing here as it brings more aircraft to Teesside to expand its expert training services to customers right across the globe. This is yet another vote of confidence in Teesside Airport from a company that has recognised its importance for years.
“This news couldn’t have come at a better time, as we drive forward our 2022 year of construction, kick-starting work on our new business park and capitalising on our property and assets. This new park will attract even more firms to the site which, like Draken, will help put it on the map even more while securing its future.”
Paul Armstrong, CEO at Draken Europe, welcomed the announcement, saying: “Draken Europe has been trusted by the UK Government to deliver the world’s most technologically advanced operational readiness training to the RAF and the Royal Navy for many years. Our team at Teesside takes very seriously the nationally significant role that they have training military personnel from the UK and its strategic allies, providing a range of multi-platform effects using next-generation technologies.
With the introduction of the L-159E, we’re proud to be bringing an entirely new capability to the UK defence sector and to Teesside – especially so at a time when geo-political events have brought into sharp relief the need for our armed forces personnel to be trained effectively to defend themselves from attack.”