Ken Wills

Business & Enterprise

Ken Wills

Ken is a successful entrepreneurial businessman, with businesses around the world, including the UK, Cambodia, Ukraine and China. His business interests are wide and varied and include such areas as Aviation, Construction and Property. In addition he also has a substantial property portfolio in the UK consisting of commercial and residential properties.

Examples of his business interests and experience in the UK are as follows:

  • Chairman, Founder and CEO of Summit Aviation, a CAA/EASA approved Heavy Jet Engine Overhaul establishment. The company has been in operation for over 20 years and has completed a major expansion project.
  • C.E.O of China Gateway International Plc (CGI)
  • Founder of Fire Technology, the South East's leading Passive Fire Protection Company.
  • Director of Gloucester Jet Test Centre, a CAA/EASA approved for Gas Turbine Engine Test Facility.
  • Founder, Chairman and CEO of Heli Charter, a CAA/EASA approved Helicopter Maintenance, Sales and Charter Business.
  • Founder of KMfm for Thanet, formerly Thanet Local Radio (TLR), one of the UK 's most successful local commercial radio stations.
  • He was founder of the Odessa Childrens' Charity, Chairman of the Cancer Care Appeal Events and remains a Trustee of the Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Trust.

Ken is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a Chartered Manager, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management and a Chartered Engineer.


Summit Aviation

Founded in 1991, Summit Aviation is a privately owned company specialising in the maintenance, overhaul, repair and testing of Pratt & Whitney JT8D and JT3D engines.

From the very beginning, Summit's strength has been the high quality of the services it provides in this important specialised field.

Despite considerable expansion over the years, rigorous quality control and thorough training have enabled Summit to maintain its high standards.
Facilities now offered include:

  • Engine repair and maintenance
  • Engineering support
  • Engine sales and leasing
  • Test cell facilities

Summit is undertaking a major expansion programme, building an iconic new headquarters on the edge of Kent International Airport, increasing its capacity and enabling it to work with more models of engine. The building is close to completion and Summit will make the move in the very near future.

Heli-Charter Limited

The Company was established by Ken in 1987 and specialises in the maintenance of various helicopter types, particularly the Bell 206 series and Augusta 109. Sited at Manston, the Company has a fleet of Bell and Robinson helicopters.

Fire Technology International Ltd.

Formed with the purpose of supplying the public sector and the construction industry with a quality service in the supply and installation of fire systems.

It soon became evident that the passive fire systems facet of the industry was in need of the type of services offered and so the decision was taken to specialise in this whilst maintaining a supply service in other areas of the fire industry.

Through the following years and to present, the company has increased turnover year on year as it built its reputation in the industry to the stage where it is considered a quality force. In this period, Fire Technology International Ltd. has gained ISO 9001:2000 quality status as well as being granted the Investors in People award.

With a client list of leading builders and contractors as well as blue chip companies, and a history of supply and installation across a whole area of the industry from historic buildings (including castles) to high rise modern flats as well as commercial outlets and factories including the high demands of the pharmaceutical industry, Fire Technology International Ltd. goes from strength to strength.

Have you've ever wondered what it takes to become a top business mogul? Inside Out follows three self-made South East entrepreneurs and their stories of rags to riches. It could be you...

Think of top businessmen and household names like Richard Branson, Bernie Ecclestone and Easyjet's Stelios Haji-Ioannou spring to mind.

But have you ever wondered what special qualities took them to the top of their respective business trees?

They share several common characteristics with three South East business entrepreneurs who have enjoyed a spectacular rise to riches from humble beginnings.

Inside Out investigates what it takes to run a business empire, and shares the secrets of three southerners success.

Ken Wills started with nothing and has worked his way up to a business empire with a turnover of £20 million.

Ken's fortune was not made through a lucky lottery win, nor did he inherit his wealth.

Ken came from modest beginnings, growing up in a semi in Ashford, the son of an auxiliary nurse and a jobbing builder.

It was sheer determination and hard work that rocketed Ken Wills from obscurity to a lifestyle complete with a big house by the sea and expensive cars.

Today he boasts a jet engine maintenance shop, a helicopter firm, a fire prevention company, a restaurant, a jewellery business and a radio station on the Isle of Thanet.

"If you do what you love, you're going to be better at it," advises Ken to budding entrepreneurs.

But Ken isn't resting on his laurels. His low boredom threshold means that he's always keen to find new pies to put his fingers into. Success breeds success so it seems