UK general-aviation company Gatwick Avionics (Redhill) has acquired rival Thurston Avionics for an undisclosed sum. The Stapleford-based company will continue to operate under its existing title for the time being. According to Tony Okill, managing director and co-owner of Gatwick Avionics, however, it will be "-renamed Gatwick Avionics (Stapleford) at a later date".

Gatwick Avionics (Redhill), which was set up in 1994, has an annual turnover of around £2.5 million ($4.6 million), which it plans to quintuple by 2001. The company performs "all types of avionics work" on fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters, for a variety of companies and operators, including Redhill-based Thurston Helicopters, Stapleford-Aeromega and London's Metropolitan Police Air Support Unit.

Okill is "-keen to expand" the company and is eyeing international contracts. "Sukhoi wants to equip around six Su-26s and Su-29s with Western avionics for the Argentine air force, so we hope to talk to them," he says.

Okill also plans to hold negotiations with Qatar-based Gulf Helicopters to install traffic-alert and collision-avoidance systems on Bell 212 and 412 helicopters.

The company also claims to be holding negotiations with European companies, but fails to disclose any details. "In the next five years, we intend to be the largest [general-aviation avionics repair and integration] company in Europe," says Okill.

Source: Flight International