Air Covers Wins Queen’s Award
Air Covers Ltd, a specialist in the design of bespoke protective covers for the aerospace and marine sector, announces it has won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for International Trade 2020. These awards are the most prestigious award a UK company can receive. Her Majesty The Queen approves the winners, which recognises companies of all sizes.
“We are delighted to have been chosen for this award,” says John Pattinson, managing director. “It is a terrific achievement for our amazing team who learned of this win today. Such an accolade is especially welcome to us during this time of international uncertainty, and we hope it will further drive our business forward.”
Based in Wrexham, North Wales, Air Covers was founded by husband-and-wife team, John and Sasha Pattinson, in 2006. Their first customer was for the smallest piston helicopter. Today, the company makes covers for everything from Apache helicopters to commercial airliners.
Air Covers protects every component part of a helicopter, fixed-wing aircraft or superyacht. Its products reduce the cost of maintenance and increase an aircraft’s availability, as well as aiding safety. Field tests by the military in Afghanistan, Italy and Saudi Arabia have shown the exceptional user benefits.
Working closely with OEM’s or MRO’s engineering teams and private owners, Air Covers laser-scans aircraft and designs protection for every potential user requirement. A customer sends a photograph of their aircraft and in the same day the team sends back a 3D definition exactly matching the antennae and airframe. Its CNC machines cut out fabrics to create a fully customised product.
Working with laser technology has enabled Air Covers to significantly reduce lead times for cover delivery. “We are project managers and textile engineers. Giving the customer bespoke quality and short lead times at a good price is what drives our company. We are very proud to play a role in reducing the maintenance burden,” says John Pattinson.
In 2019 Air Covers supplied protective covers to 29 countries. The business supports military, emergency services, commercial and private aircraft sectors, the off-shore industry and superyachts. Air Covers has designed covers for every single helicopter type in the western fleet, from the Robinson R22 to the Kaman K-MAX. As well as being a regular supplier to the UK MoD, Air Covers has a diverse customer list, which includes Air Forces in Spain, Germany, Sweden, Italy and the Middle East, along with prominent helicopter operators including Bristow, CHC and Babcock. In the corporate market, Starspeed Helicopters, part of the Luxaviation Group, and Luviair are long-established customers.
“Air Covers wishes to thank the Department for International Trade and the Welsh Government for their support. We work closely with both. As an SME with just 12 employees, we represent the backbone of Great British business and are proud to be in demand across the world,” says Sasha Pattinson.
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the UK. The awards were first established in 1965. The awards celebrate the success of exciting and innovative businesses which are leading the way with pioneering products or services, delivering impressive social mobility programs or showing their commitment to excellent sustainable development practices.
During the lockdown with a temporarily reduced team on site, Air Covers is using its advanced CNC cutting capabilities to work for the NHS supply chain.