A small Welsh airport has become an unlikely tech cluster for UAV

The sandy beaches of Aberporth, once a busy fishing port at the southern end of Cardigan Bay, come into view as you descend to land in a light aircraft on the single asphalt runway of West Wales Airport.

The place is quiet; few passengers arrive here. But unlike any other airport in Britain some of the planes parked nearby never have anyone on board. One is preparing to fly: a grey pilotless aircraft resembling a giant cigar tube, called Watchkeeper. West Wales is becoming a centre for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and one of Britain’s unlikeliest industrial clusters.

Ray Mann, who runs an engineering and recycling business based in Ross-on-Wye, just over the English border, had learnt to fly to save time travelling to factories in Europe. Noticing the small former air force base, he inquired if it was possible to land his light aircraft there. Later it turned out that the airport was for sale, so Mr Mann bought it in 2001.

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Source: The Economist: Britain

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