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Congratulations to our 5th Sterling Pilot Scholar

Release date:
October 2019
Eight people standing in a line indoors
Jon Platt, CEO Air BP (centre), Sonya Adams, MD Northern, Central and Western Europe, Air BP (left) and Olivia Stone, Global Operations Standards Manager, Air BP and current JIG Chair (right) with scholars (left to right) Kristoff Ahlner, Zoё Burnett, Stephen Daly, Robert Norris and Alex May. 
We are delighted to reveal that 18-year-old aviation-obsessed Kristoff Ahlner has been named as our fifth Sterling Pilot Scholar. With the aviation industry facing a global pilot shortage the scholarship underlines our commitment to supporting aspiring young pilots in the UK

Valued at around £10,000, the scholarship has already assisted four young candidates in achieving their Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL). Ahlner, who has had aspirations to become a pilot since his early teens is from Shenfield in Essex. He joined the Royal Air Force Cadets aged 13 and simultaneously began gliding at Essex and Suffolk Gliding Club. He completed his flight training in September having finished his A Levels and now intends to study aeronautical engineering at university prior to pursuing a career as a pilot.


Commenting on being awarded his scholarship, Ahlner said: “I am incredibly excited but also very grateful to Air BP for their generosity, without which I simply could not have pursued my dream career to be a pilot.”


Around 790,000 new civil pilots are needed to fly the world’s fleet over the next 20 years. Our scholarship programme is just one example of how we are encouraging young people to gain a better understanding of the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education for both their futures and the future of the wider aviation industry.


At a special event to mark five years of the Sterling Pilot Scholar programme, which was held at our Sunbury-on-Thames headquarters, Ahlner was joined by past scholars to celebrate their success. Having been awarded the scholarship in 2016 Zoë Burnett is now a First Officer at Flybe. Expressing her gratitude to Air BP for enabling her to achieve her dream, she added:


“During the course of my work, I have also learnt about Air BP’s commitment to safe operations and I am impressed by the company’s efforts as well as its contribution to ensuring safe refuelling.”


Meanwhile Jon Platt, Air BP’s CEO spoke of his enthusiasm for the scholarship saying: “We will continue to invest in this programme in support of aspiring pilots and in support of the industry.” 


To find out more click here.