UAV remarks 'laughable'

First published in Letters

Reports about the CAA allowing ACP to enable UAVs to fly over a large swathe of Wales cannot pass without comment.

Remarks from WAG, Edwina Hart, Ray Mann et al such as "ParcAberporth as a dedicated centre for UAS". “Wales in forefront of UAS development".."support ongoing developments".."Wales is unique in Europe"..W Wales is focal point for UAS in the UK" are laughable.

Haven't any of them noticed the trumpeted flagship company, the only commercial takers at our "UAV non Centre of Excellence" are upping sticks and going. In spite of opening the site to all and sundry no one else has taken even part of a unit.

Where are all those firms we were told were showing interest in our TechParc? Where are all those firms we were told were about to move in to our TechParc all those years ago? Are they now going to arrive just because the fly zone has been extended from 7km? Where are the fifty jobs WWA was going to create following all those commercial oppportunities which had been identified by its owner?

The only parties interested in flying to The Epynt are the MoD, and they aren't really at the TechParc. They were due to occupy units to be built on the east side of the airport by WWA because they required the security and isolation supposedly granted by such a location. Permission for these units was given by CCC in spite of the UDP Inspector finding against them at the Public Enquiry. Cllr Gethin Jenkins claimed "the bulldozers are waiting to go in" and yet they were never built. So a Unit and the Hangar were leased to WWW, who in turn rent to those running Watchkeeper. Really Watchkeeper is not part of the TechParc "success" story, but perhaps just a hidden subsidy to WWA.

Once again the TechParc and UAV industry is being talked up by WAG, politicians, entrepeneurs and civil servants who can't see or admit they have created a very costly white elephant. Its the modern version of "The Emperor's new Clothes".

It's fashionable now-a-days for politicians to apologise to foreign countries for wrongs committed centuries previously.

Perhaps a politician from WAG, or CCC, or even a community council would like to stand up and say "Sorry, we got it wrong"

DES DAVIES Parcllyn

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