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Air BP launches Sterling Pilot Scholarship opportunity for aspiring pilots

Release date:
12 January 2015
GA plane being refuelled

Leading international aviation fuel products and service supplier Air BP has launched a private pilot’s licence (PPL) scholarship called the Air BP Sterling Pilot Scholarship. Organised in conjunction with the Honourable Company of Air Pilots formerly known as the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (GAPAN), the Air BP Sterling Pilot Scholarship is designed to assist an aspiring UK-based pilot with little or no experience of flying to achieve a PPL. The Scholarship will provide a grant valued at £10,000 towards the cost of flying training and examination costs. Applicants can now apply online at www.airpilots.org/career-matters/scholarships/


Air BP has named the Scholarship, after its globally recognised fuel payment card, the Sterling Card. The Sterling Card provides easy access to fuel for thousands of clients and makes life simpler for private pilots, aircraft management companies and corporate flight departments at any of Air BP’s 600 strong global locations. The successful Sterling Pilot scholar may choose to redeem some of the flying hours at a school based at one of Air BP’s 43 locations in the UK, many of which have flying schools including Goodwood Aerodrome (QUG/EGHR) and Brighton City Airport (ESH/EGKA).


One of the criteria for a successful application includes the ability to demonstrate a serious ambition to pursue an aviation related career. Mark Atherton, Air BP’s General Aviation Sales & Marketing Manager Western Europe comments: “We recognise that our contribution though small, could have an immeasurable impact on the life of an aspiring pilot and we look forward to aiding his or her first step towards a career in aviation. Our responsibility extends not only to providing reliable supply and quality fuel, but to the wider community in which we operate.”


Air BP selected the Honourable Company of Air Pilots because it has a superb track record in promoting the availability of scholarships to a wide public audience through a rigorous and fair selection process. The Honourable Company of Air Pilots generally offers about 10 scholarships or bursaries a year including PPL scholarships, Flight Instructor scholarships, Jet Orientation Course scholarships, Gliding scholarships and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) bursaries for instructors and others already involved in professional flying. All scholarships are for fully funded training to achieve the appropriate licence or rating. Many of the winners of scholarships sponsored or administered by the Honourable Company of Air Pilots have gone on to develop or further their careers in aviation.


The Air BP Sterling Pilot Scholarship is open to all UK-based applicants aged over 17 years at the time of application who can satisfy the relevant medical standard to enable issue of a UK Class 2 Medical Certificate. The Sterling Pilot Scholarship will be awarded following an assessment interview in April/May with a selection committee appointed by the Honourable Company of Air Pilots.


Following the achievement of a PPL, a pilot is then able to fly solo in clear daytime weather conditions. He or she can then progress towards further training which could include a Night Rating, IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) Rating, Multi Rating, Airline Transport Pilots Licence, Commercial Pilots Licence, Instrument Rating and/or Flying Instructors Rating.

Editor's notes - about Air BP

  • As the aviation division of BP, Air BP is one of the world's largest suppliers of aviation fuel products and services with over 1,100 employees. It currently supplies over seven and a half billion gallons of jet kerosene and aviation gasoline to its customers across the globe each year.
  • Through its direct operations, Air BP fuels more than 6,400 flights every day – that’s over four aircraft every minute or one every 15 seconds. The company operates at more than 600 global locations in over 45 countries serving customers from the private pilot to some of the world’s largest airlines.
  • Air BP’s technical and operations experts provide a complete aviation fuel consultancy service, including the design, build and operation of aviation fuelling facilities, to help customers protect their operations and manage risks.
  • Air BP’s services for the General Aviation sector include the Sterling Card, which can be used throughout the global network, including self-serve locations, providing easy access to fuel for thousands of Air BP clients including private pilots, aircraft management companies and corporate flight departments. Air BP’s card programmes were introduced in 1993 to bridge the gap between airline, general business and private aviation customers as an easy means of payment for aviation fuel on an as needed basis.


Editor's notes - about The Honourable Company of Air Pilots

  • The Air Pilots was established as the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators in 1929. It is based in London but has an internationally based membership of professional and private pilots. The principal activities of the organisation are centred on developing action and activities to ensure that aircraft are piloted and navigated safely by aviators who are highly competent, self-reliant, dependable and respected.
  • The Grand Master of the Air Pilots, His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York and his father, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh who is Patron, are both pilots and actively supported the recent grant of the Royal Charter.
  • The Air Pilots support the education and training of pilots from the initial instruction of young pilots to specialist training at the highest levels. Through its charitable activities, education and training, technical committees, aircrew selection, scholarships and sponsorships, advice and recognition of the achievements of fellow aviators worldwide, the Honourable Company keeps itself at the forefront of the aviation world.
  • The Air Pilots also provides expert, impartial input to regulators, government and media on areas including aviation and the environment, airport capacity in south east England, aircrew flight time limitations and the maintenance of piloting skills in increasingly automated aircraft. Air Pilots experts are also available to all media on request, to ensure accurate and fully informed reporting of any aviation events.

Further enquiries


Air BP - Emerald Media:

Telephone: +44 1420 560094

Email:  liz.danner@emeraldmedia.co.uk