New book marks 50th anniversary of Woodgate Aviation

Former Woodgate Aviation managing director Allan Keen, his wife Gloria, and accountable manager David Shaw (right) join author Guy Warner at the launch of his book covering the history of the company

WOODGATE Aviation is celebrating 50 years in business with a new book that tells its story from humble beginnings to a world-class company with a global reach.

Operating out of facilities at Belfast International Airport, it began life with just a single aircraft and today operates a fleet of piston and turbo prop aircraft, along with private jet management and handling services from its purpose-built, state-of-the-art hangar.

‘Woodgate Aviation – 50 Years in Northern Ireland' was researched and written by aviation expert and historian Guy Warner, who described the project as ‘one of the most enjoyable I have ever undertaken.'

Woodgate also operates the fixed-wing Northern Ireland Air Ambulance and the Isle of Man Air Ambulance and last year transported hundreds of patients to and from hospitals in Britain.

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “Woodgate Aviation has successfully delivered an air ambulance service on behalf of the Northern Ireland Heath and Social Care sector for the last 11 years and I wish them well as they mark this important business milestone.”

Woodgate Aviation accountable manager David Shaw said the company made a conscious decision to expand its operations six years ago with a new purpose-built hangar facility.

“We have enjoyed expansion of all our services, from providing hangarage and management services for multi-million pound private jets to our Air Ambulance aircraft, along with the service we provide for Land & Property Services and, of course, providing re-fuelling facilities and maintenance by our team of aviation technicians,” he said.

“This is a business that is constantly changing. We now have a global reach and have an enviable reputation for the quality of the service we provide.

“This book by a respected aviation writer and enthusiast is a great read, full of facts and with a few humorous anecdotes thrown in.

“Our base looks nothing like what we had for the first forty or so years and hopefully the next chapter in our history will see us embark on further expansion and growth.”

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