Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson Discusses Triumphs + Pitfalls of His New Aircraft Business
When he's not on the road touring, Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson is running his Wales-based business Cardiff Aviation, Ltd., an aircraft maintenance company he launched last year. Now, Dickinson is starting the new year with a solid base for his new operation with hopes for a prosperous future.
When he first announced the business, Dickinson had speculated that it could bring in hundreds of jobs to the local community. In a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, Dickinson reveals that his fledgling operation currently employs 40 people, but expects to expand to between 100-125 employees by next summer. "That's not bad," says the singer, who admits that even he deals with "the wonderful world of practicality." However, even with the expected growth, there is an incredible amount of patience and the ability to temper expectations needed to run the business.
The vocalist explains, "Clearly aviation is a highly regulated industry, and it does take time for the wheels to grind." Dickinson says it is somewhat frustrating knowing that they have some resources to push forward, but must wait on the red tape before proceeding. He adds, "[We have] 5 million dollars worth of heavy engineering machinery … We have enough stuff in our hanger to build an airliner, let alone maintain it." However, first there are a number of certifications that need to happen.
However, Dickinson is confident in his future and says he feels he has the two key attributes needed to succeed. He explains, "You've got to have a vision, but you've also got to have common sense."
Years of trial and error have also helped. He recalls one of his first ever enterprises, dating back to his youth. "One of my earliest ventures was when I was 9 years old. I realized there was a shortage of pencils at school, so I started Rent-a-Pencil," recalls Dickinson. "But I made a fundamental mistake. Everybody stole my pencils."