The Honourable Company of Air Pilots incorporating Air Navigators

The Award for Aviation Journalism


Awarded to an individual journalist, publication or organisation for an outstanding contribution to the promotion or public awareness of aviation in general or of any important aspect of aviation activity.


2018 awarded to:  David Learmount
David Learmount

Since 1979 David Learmount has arguably been the most influential aviation safety journalist of his era.  In addition to his well informed writing he has served the industry well as the person to be called by radio and television.

Prior to applying to join the Royal Air Force in 1969, he had already achieved a PPL, IMC rating and night rating.  This he had achieved at his own expense having joined BEA as cabin crew on Tridents and Comet 4Bs until he had earned enough to pay for his licence and endorsements at the Airways Flying Club.  Dual cost £5 10s and solo £4 10s – those were the days!

He served in the RAF for 10 years until he lost his medical category as a pilot. Operationally he flew the Hercules and his final tour was as a QFI on Jet Provosts.

Journalism David LearmountHe joined Flight International initially as their Air Transport Reporter, but almost immediately took over the annual safety review, and wrote up operational news of all kinds – an area that really interested him. Two years later he was appointed Air Transport Editor and did that job until the new post of Operations and Safety Editor was created especially for him in 1992.

As soon as he had arrived at Flight International, David became the first point of contact when the broadcasting media rang the office, ‘when things went wrong’, for an explanation. It rapidly became evident that he had a knack for explaining things in words of one syllable.

Over the 38 years he has served at Flight International both fulltime and now as a Consultant, his knowledgeable writing and in this digital era now his blog, have provided in depth analyses of the failures and remedies in commercial aviation. The quality of his research and writing during this time has made him a figure known and respected across the aeronautical world.

In addition to his new role as Consulting Editor to Flight Global and freelance aviation Consultant, David is busy with his own blog. 

David’s long and renown career is appropriately recognized by the Company’s Award for Aviation Journalism.




2006/07 Richard Gardner Esq

2007/08 Hugh Field Esq

2008/09 Flight International

 2010 Not Awarded

2010/11 Global Aviation Resource

2011/12 Air Commodore Graham Pitchfork MBE BA FRAeS

2012/13 Pat Malone

2013/14  BBC Helicopter Heroes Team

2014/15  Squadron Leader David Webster MBE RAF

2016  Nigel Everett MA

2017  Captain Elfan Dyfed Ap Rees

2018  David Learmount