THE man who will step into the shoes of Tim Prince, as Chief Executive of the RAF Charitable Trust Enterprises following RIAT 2014, says he feels privileged to be taking over such a unique organisation.
Andy Armstrong, whose appointment was announced this week, said he hoped to use his business experience to give something back to the RAF family.
He said: “I am genuinely excited and feel very privileged to be taking over the controls of such a unique organisation. I look forward to working alongside everyone at Douglas Bader House and hope to meet many of the extraordinary volunteers, whom I have heard so much about, as we get ready for this summer’s Air Tattoo.”
Andy, who is married with two children, will be working closely alongside Tim throughout the build-up to this summer’s airshow before formally taking over immediately after.
A marketing graduate, Andy has a strong track record in developing a wide range of consumer businesses, most recently managing the transition from physical to digital delivery of filmed entertainment as Managing Director Northern Europe for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
He believes his interest in the Royal Air Force and his desire to support it was inherited from his father, who was the ATC Corps Chaplain for more than a decade.
“My enthusiasm definitely came from him,” said Andy. “I remember being taken to an Air Tattoo when I was very young, to see one of the first displays of the Harrier. Watching an aircraft stop in mid-air, hover and then fly backwards for the first time was something I, and thousands of others that day, will never forget.”
On leaving school, Andy was awarded a Cadet Flying Scholarship, which enabled him to obtain his Private Pilot’s Licence and he continued flying with the University Air Squadron whilst studying at Strathclyde University.
Andy said: “Having personally benefited from the support of the RAF family, I think joining the RAFCTE and RIAT team is a fabulous opportunity to use all my experience to ‘give something back’.”
Tim said he was pleased to be handing over the reins to someone who not only valued what had been achieved in the past but who had the experience to take the organisation forward.
He said: “I know Andy has been attracted by the determined yet caring ethos of our highly capable and enthusiastic team and fully understands that aircraft comprise the core element of the Air Tattoo. I am so pleased that I will be handing it all over to someone who values all that we have done in the past and who is looking forward to using his considerable experience to take the organisation forward.”
Andy, who lives in Chorleywood, Hertfordshire, was appointed following a rigorous recruitment process, which attracted a number of very strong candidates.
Air Tattoo and RAFCTE Chairman Alan Smith said: “I am delighted that Andy has agreed to take up the job of leading our unique organisation following Tim's decision to retire after 43 years spent making a fantastic contribution to military aviation in general and the Royal Air Force and its charities in particular.”
“In discussing the job with him, I was immediately struck by Andy's strong commitment to continue to support the RAF Charitable Trust whilst safeguarding the interests of our permanent staff and our thousands of volunteers. Most importantly, Andy clearly understands what our customers expect from the company in running what is still the largest military airshow in the world.”