Air BP has awarded this year’s Sterling Pilot Scholarship to 17 year old Hertfordshire student, Robert Norris, who becomes the third awardee since the scholarship was launched in 2015. The scholarship, which is valued at around £10,000, aims to assist aspiring UK pilots with little or no experience of flying to achieve a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL).
Through the scholarship Robert wants to work towards fulfilling his dream of flying a Boeing 777 as a commercial airline pilot. He gained his first flying experience at RAF Wittering aged 15 as a member of the Air Cadets. He has since tried gliding as well as pursuing his interest in aviation by often visiting the RAF Museum, London. Robert has already logged his first hours at Cambridge Aero Club, which is near the sixth form college where he is studying `A` levels. He then plans to continue his education and complete a degree in aeronautical engineering.
On his selection as this year’s Air BP Sterling Pilot Scholar, Robert said: “Flying lessons are expensive and certainly out of my reach at this stage so I am incredibly grateful to Air BP. The Sterling Pilot Scholarship is a really good thing; it is an opportunity for young people who are considering training to be a pilot but whose choices have been restricted by the lack of access to student loans. Having a degree is also important, both during and beyond a flying career. With an aeronautical engineering degree, I will understand how aircraft are designed and be in a stronger position to resolve any challenges I might face as a pilot.”
Alex May, the first Sterling Pilot Scholarship awardee is now in his second year studying for a BSc in Professional Aviation Pilot Practice and working through ATPL (Air Transport Pilot’s Licence) exams while continuing to build his PPL hours in preparation for his CPL (Commercial Pilot’s Licence), MEP (Multi-engine Piston Rating) and IR (Instrument Rating). Our second awardee, Zöe Burnett, is currently training with Flybe in Jerez, Spain to become a certified pilot.
Air BP works with the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, formerly known as The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (GAPAN), to organise the Air BP Sterling Pilot Scholarship because of its excellence in promoting the availability of scholarships to a wide public audience and history of conducting a rigorous and fair selection process.
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 800 locations globally.