The Honourable Company was established (as a Guild in 1929) in order to represent pilot and navigator interests within all areas of aviation. The majority of its members are, or have been, professional licence holders, operating aircraft in the airlines, corporate aviation and all branches of Her Majesty's armed forces. There are also many private licence holders, who are not full-time professional airmen, flying in every area of general aviation, sporting aviation and recreational flying.
For many members, the particular strength and attraction of the Company is its diverse spread of members and interests in all the various areas of contemporary aviation. This, together with an entirely apolitical outlook and a constitution which forbids it from engaging in trade union activity, enables the Honourable Company of Air Pilots to form and to promote a truly unbiased, professional and experienced view on operational aviation matters.
"The Guild (now Company) is concerned with every technical aspect of flying from safety to navigational aids, from airport facilities to training methods and in particular with new developments in aircraft and their handling. It's a unique organisation, as its upper membership is restricted to qualified pilots and navigators and therefore it can truly claim to bring together the views and ideas of people who control aircraft in the air. Perhaps, the most important function of the Guild (now Company) is to help set and maintain standards of conduct among flying people.
"The Guild (now Company) is not intended to be a lobby or pressure group and it does not function in the same way as the Airline Pilots' Associations. However, that doesn't mean that it will never offer considered advice if it thinks it necessary, and of course it is always ready to offer an opinion if asked for."Taken from an address given by the (then) Grand Master, and now Patron, His Royal Highness, the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.