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Belfast City Airport supports RAF Air Cadets Astra Cyber Programme

Date: 21 Dec 2023

Belfast City Airport has donated innovative technology to Newtownabbey-based Royal Air Force Air Cadets’ (RAFAC) Astra programme to support and upskill future generations.
The technology, funded by a donation from Belfast City Airport’s Community Fund, will see 1919 (Newtownabbey) Squadron cadets equipped with cutting edge resources, including Arduino chips, a 3D printer and various other peripherals allowing re-use and complexity adjustments.
Speaking on behalf of Belfast City Airport, Watch Commander for the Airport’s Fire Service and former Air Cadet, Rory Goldring, commented:
“At Belfast City Airport we are dedicated to playing our part in the continued enhancement of our community, investing in people and empowering the next generation.
“We recognise the importance of programmes such as the RAFAC’s Astra initiative in the development of young people, and we are thrilled to support 1919 (Newtownabbey) Squadron in building the workforce of tomorrow.
“Our Community Fund will assist this project to not only fill talent gaps in Northern Ireland but also inspire the next generation through firsthand experience and education that will go a long way in better preparing the cadets for their future.”
Sqn Ldr Coulter, Northern Ireland Wing Lead on Cyber (RAFAC), helped launch the Northern Ireland Astra programme to further strengthen the cadets’ technology and cyber-based knowledge and capabilities.
He said:

“The Astra programme was developed in response to the digital skills gap and allows us to move forward with our parent service the Royal Air Force, aiming to engage the cadet force at all levels and deliver meaningful change across the RAF.
“The technology donated by Belfast City Airport will be fundamental to our future success by ensuring RAFAC are gaining new skills that can be taken back into the industry for cadets in years to come.
“We are very grateful to Belfast City Airport for providing technology which will be used in Project Astra, with much-needed technology that will support our local cadets, others around Northern Ireland and help inspire young people to create a fulfilling, rewarding and long lasting future career.”
Belfast City Airport’s Community Fund was established in February 2009 and since its inception 14 years ago, has donated nearly £500,000 to support more than 200 community projects across Greater Belfast.
For further information about the Airport’s Community Fund please visit:

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