Air BP, the international aviation fuel products and service supplier, has awarded its fourth Sterling Pilot Scholarship to Stephen Daly, from County Limerick in the Republic of Ireland. 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). Air BP’s Sterling Pilot Scholarship programme began in 2015 and has already helped two of three students reach their ambition of becoming commercial airline pilots. Stephen who is currently training at Sherburn Aero Club at Sherburn-In-Elmet Airfield, near Leeds, also aspires to be a commercial airline pilot.
This latest announcement comes in the midst of a global pilot shortage. The 2018 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook recently forecast that 790,000 new civil aviation pilots will be needed to fly the world’s fleet over the next 20 years. Paul Auge, general manager, Air BP UK & France comments: “The risk of a pilot shortage is a real industry concern and makes the Sterling Pilot scholarship and schemes like it, all the more important. Stephen’s passion for flying and his motivation to become a commercial airline pilot are outstanding.”
Marc Bailey, CEO of the British Business General Aviation Association (BBGA) spoke of the pilot shortage recently, commenting: “We are seeing a world shortage in pilots with new demands coming in from the Far East outstripping global supply. Closer to home the UK is one of the most respected providers of pilots in terms of the calibre of candidates delivered. What we need to do is to create the environment that propels the UK back into the training market."
On receiving the news of the Sterling Pilot Scholarship, Stephen said: “I am incredibly grateful to Air BP for the funding. The Sterling Pilot Scholarship has given me an opportunity to work towards a career as a commercial airline pilot that I simply wouldn’t have been able to fund myself, or at least nowhere near as fast.”
Air BP works with the Honourable Company of Air Pilots (HCAP), 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. Auge added: “We will continue to invest in this programme in support of aspiring pilots and in support of our industry. Our scholarship also serves to demonstrate BP’s goal of encouraging young people to gain a better understanding of the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education for their futures and for the wider aviation industry.”
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 900 locations globally.