Sky Harbour UK has evolved from the recognition that aircraft acquisition and aircraft management is a challenging area requiring specialist support. The key areas of aircraft acquisition, aircraft management, engineering resource management and pilot resource management are all competencies that are within the remit of Sky Harbour UK.
Founded by Steve Ford, over forty years of direct hands on aviation experience is at the core of the companies DNA. Having served a full aircraft engineering apprenticeship with British Caledonian Airways and licensed as an engineer both sides of the Atlantic, Steve was subsequently trained as a Propulsion Development Engineer responsible for the Condition Monitored Maintenance Programme (CMMP) on and off the wing of the GE CF6 power plants on the DC-10 fleet. Commercial flying took Steve away from BCAL, operating Cessna 182`s and Beech Baron`s in West Texas to eventually King Airs and Citations out of Biggin Hill.
Airline flying in the turbulent 1980`s resulted in type ratings on the B737-400 and the DC-10 whilst in parallel managing the power plants on wing for charter operator Novair International. The combination of engineering and flying experience, again holding Airline Transport Licences accomplished separately both sides of the Atlantic led to employment with British Aerospace Corporate Jets.
A heady mix of company, certification and development flying as well customer demonstrations, deliveries and sales tours, led to a strong association with the Hawker product.
Following the acquisition of Bae Corporate Jets by Raytheon, Steve joined Virgin Atlantic Airways and was quickly appointed the technical pilot on the A340 fleet. Flying as Captain on the A320, A330, A340, B747-100/200 and the B747-400 provided the requisite skills to act as Aircraft Integration Manager with respect to aircraft acquisitions representing flight operations. In parallel, commercial interests led Steve to develop an industrial estate in the Southeast that supported various aircraft spares companies and founded, with the CEO of Line Up Aviation, Ian Taylor, an FBO Sapphire Aviation.
When asked about Sky Harbour UK and the drive for its formation Steve said: “After 23 years of long haul flying I continued to have a strong interest in General and Business Aviation. I decided to transition back into an environment that I had remained connected to and apply the discipline and knowledge gained over four decades. Our knowledge of the inner workings of Aircraft Manufacturers, Maintenance and Repair Organisations, Aircraft Brokers, Training Organisations and coupled with proven operational integration with the regulatory authorities means that from the first day and every day; it is our clients interests we represent.”
Somehow Steve also finds the time to write, which he enjoys and writes articles for Air Facts Journal in the United States and Aviation Business Magazine Middle East. He has authored two books, “20 West” and “Flight Envelopes” both available via Amazon either as eBooks or paperback.
When asked how Sky Harbour UK supports such a diverse range of disciplines, Steve replied: “We always start with the most important first step; we listen. We then build a team that can deliver, tailored for and bespoke for the customer. After all, we care as much as they do with regard to who is in control.”
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