Captain Winston Thomas has been appointment MBE. Captain Thomas has spent over £4m in building Pembrey Airport in Llanelli.
His private purchase of the airport in 1994 led to the restoration of the buildings and infrastructure in order to transform the former Royal Air Force Airport into a busy facility that offers private, commercial and charter flights.
His investment in the derelict airport has helped boost to the local economy, has attracted in inward investment and created jobs in South and West Wales.
The 80-year-old said:
“It is a privilege to have my name put forward on to the honours list.”
Pembrey Airport was opened by the Secretary of State for Wales in 1998. The airport is located in the county of Carmarthenshire 170 miles west of London
Pembrey Airport forms a catalyst to create Inward Investment, job creation and tourism. And was awarded the Best Airport of the year 2000 which was presented by Neville Duke, DFC.
It currently handles a large selection of aircraft movements per year including the Western Power Helicopters who monitor the electricity supply network throughout the whole of the UK, PDG Helicopters who monitor the gas supply lines throughout the country, Castle Air who are contractors to the Forestry Commission, to name just a few.
It is also used on a daily basis by the Ministry of Defence for aircraft refuelling and logistics and military pilot training. Pembrey Airport also provides the training of CAA air traffic controllers, fire officer’s and airport personnel training for UK and foreign students at the Pembrey College of Aeronautics.
The Country Park, numerous professional golf courses, Burry Port marina, and local business is stimulating additional air transport services. The West Wales region alone attracts 2.8 million visitors annually.
The opening of the Ffoslas Horse Race Course the first of its type built in the United Kingdom since 1937 at a cost of 24 million with the construction of 600 high quality houses in the local area. Together with Pembrey Airport and other local developments 85 million has been injected into the local economy.