A Wiltshire man has been made an OBE for his invaluable services to aviation safety.

Tim Dawson, who lives in West Ashton, was included in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours List.

He runs SkyDemon; the company behind an innovative computer software program that makes the planning of flights both safer and easer for pilots of all backgrounds.

Mr Dawson grew up in Milborne Port, and it was while training for his private pilots’ licence that the early idea for SkyDemon emerged as he sought a way to make his own personal flights easier.

The Somerset-based company develops software used by pilots to plan and navigate their flights throughout the UK and wider Europe and it has enjoyed a significant surge in overseas sales since its official launch in 2009.

In 2012, SkyDemon was launched on the iPad - Android followed a year later- and it is now Europe’s market leading flight planning and navigation software.

Now based in Frome, in 2018 SkyDemon also won the the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise in both the Innovation and International Trade categories.

The whole team attended a ceremony at Buckingham Palace where they met HRH The Prince of Wales and spoke with him about SkyDemon.

The 38-year-old, who is also a bell ringer at St John's church in West Ashton, said it meant a "great deal" to receive his most recent accolade, in particular against a backdrop of negative news stories about the aviation industry that have emerged due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Dawson said: "Everyone was really excited when they heard the news, as was I. My family is very proud.

"People have said that it is refreshing to have some good news in relation to the aviation industry, as it's been a very bleak year."

For SkyDemon, the company has in fact been incredibly busy since hobbyist pilots were allowed to return to the skies in May.

Mr Dawson, who moved to Wiltshire four years ago, added: "It's almost like people are trying to make up for the time lost during lockdown. It's been fairly busy in the last few months, and hopefully will stay that way.

"I started developing SkyDemon in 2006, mostly for my own personal use, and in 2009 people told me that I should make it a wider company.

"We really have grown hugely since then - and there's a brilliant team behind SkyDemon now."

The company consider it a "real privilege" to have thousands of people trusting their products every day, and consider it to be "great fun" to be able to make such a huge difference in aviation.

SkyDemon celebrated its 10th birthday this year and marked the occasion with a tree planting scheme in the first three months of 2020.

To find out more about the work of Tim and the company, go to https://www.skydemon.aero/