Welshpool Mid-Wales Airport was the vision of Bob Jones, the dairy farmer turned aviator on whose land the airport was built.
At the age of 13 Bob began flying a Tiger Moth from nearby Long Mountain. He later acquired a share in a Rallye 100 and then a Rallye 150ST which he flew from Pool Quay.
In 1987 Bob started on a grass strip on his farm at Trehelig. Never afraid to get his hands dirty he dug up hedges, filled in ditches and put up hangers for two aircraft. Soon after, the Development Board for Rural Wales began looking for a suitable site for an airport in Mid Wales to support local businesses. As soon as he heard this Bob insisted it would be at Trehelig and did everything he could to make it happen.
In 1990 Bob began working on a hard runway, hangers and office space. While investing in the airport Bob began a flying career and became one of the most qualified pilots in the country holding UK and American commercial pilots licenses for both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. Most of his flying was from Welshpool but when he wasn’t in the air he was at the airport, jacking up buildings, taking locals for flights or chatting aviation with anyone who came in – no matter what their experience.
Bob had completed his initial vision but he didn’t sit back. Over the years he has added more hangers, lengthened the runway and increased the office facilities. Although designed for business use, Bob wanted the airport to be something central to the local community and so he arranged an annual air show and with great pride Welshpool became a base for the Wales Air Ambulance in 2006.
Bob died tragically on 18 January 2012. His family and the airport community continue to keep his memory and vision alive.