The Honourable Company of Air Pilots incorporating Air Navigators

Flying Scholarships

The Air Pilots Flying Scholarship Programme


The Company's flying scholarships provide a unique opportunity for people who would like to become pilots or to further their qualifications as pilots.  We try to arrange the selection period to avoid school/university examination times, whilst still providing candidates with as many months of potential good weather as we can to complete their training.


Timetable of Events

Application forms are available via this page during January and February for PPL(A), FIC(A),and the Gliding Scholarships (all subject to availability in a given year); interviews (where applicable) will be at the end of April/early May and will be held in London.  Applications are invited from international scholars, but applicants should be aware that interviews take place on the arranged date in London (in person) and training must take place in a UK training organisation. Training in each instance MUST be completed by the first week of October in the year of award; candidates should be aware that this demands a very high level of commitment during the summer months and if offered a scholarship, the Company will expect the recipient to meet this commitment.



In addition to flying scholarships funded directly by the Company or one of its Charitable Trusts, each year the Air Pilots is fortunate to receive generous sponsorship from several sources to fund flying scholarships which are administered by the Company.  In 2018, funding was generously provided by benefactors for the following scholarships:

Air BP - funding for one PPL (fixed-wing) scholarship - 'The Air BP Sterling Scholarship'

Past Master Mike Grayburn - funding for one PPL  (fixed-wing) scholarship - 'The Grayburn Scholarship'

Cadogan Charitable Trust - funding for one PPL (fixed-wing) scholarship - 'The Cadogan Scholarship'

TAG Farnborough Airport - funding for one PPL (fixed-wing) scholarship - 'The TAG Flying Scholarship'

Air Pilots Benevolent Fund - funding for several PPL (fixed-wing) scholarships

Foyle Charitable Trust - funding for one FI(R) (fixed-wing) scholarship - 'The Foyle Scholarship'

Adrian Swire Charitable Trust - funding for one FI(R) (fixed-wing) scholarship - 'The Swire Scholarship'

additionally, in 2018,  there were a number of residential course Gliding Scholarships available:  Virgin Atlantic, the Air Pilots Flying Club, the Benevolent Fund, and the Air Safety Trust.


Find out more and have your say   Twitter@AirPilotsCo



Outline information on Air Pilots' Scholarships


Flight Instructor Certificate Scholarships

The Flight Instructor Certificate Scholarship award covers all direct training and examination costs for the successful candidate as they achieve their Fixed Wing Flying Instructor Certificate.  The first page of the application form contains the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions of the scholarship. Training must be completed during the summer before the first week of October.


Private Pilot Licence Scholarships

These scholarships cover all aspects of training up to licence issue for a candidate who is prepared to dedicate a considerable part of the summer to gaining their PPL.  Providing up to 45 hours of flying training, these scholarships can take a candidate with little or no experience to completion of their flying licence during the course of the summer; alternatively they can "finish off" someone who is already partially trained.  The scholarships are awarded entirely on merit as evidenced on the completed application form and as assessed by a selection committee appointed by the Company.  Candidates must be 17 or over on 1 June of the year of application and the course must be completed by the beginning of October.

Applications are welcome from candidates world wide.  International candidates should be aware that, if called to interview, the candidate must make their own arrangements to attend interview in person in London.  Training must be taken at a UK flying school.  All candidates should be aware that the scholarships only cover the cost of flying training and licence issue; no provision is made for transport, accommodation, subsistence etc. 


Gliding Scholarships

Gliding scholarships are provided directly by the Honourable Company and also through funding from the Air Pilots' Flying Club and the Air Pilots Benevolent Fund as well as other private and commerial sponsors.  As these scholarships will be residential, they are offered to people over the age of 16 and give the successful candidates the opportunity to fly on a one week residential course at a youth approved British Gliding Association centre.  This course could take a candidate to first solo.  Candidates called for interview will be informed of the available dates and asked to confirm their preference at that time.

The scholarship funding does not cover the cost of travelling to London for interview or travel costs during training.


you might be interested in watching this video from one of the 2017 winners, Joseph Wildman


London Schools Gliding

You may be interested to know of a scheme run by a group of Livery Companies, led the the Honourable Company of Air Pilots which provides students of secondary schools and academies in the Inner London Boroughs the opportunity to experience a day visit to a British Gliding Association (BGA) school.  If you would like your school to get involved with this scheme, you can find out more here


Scholarships 2018

If you are thinking of applying for a scholarship, you may well find the information accessed by the link below helpful in understanding what is involved.

The reports from the Scholarship Winners of 2018 can be found here



The prestigious John Landymore Trophy is awarded to to the PPL Scholar who is considered to by the Scholarship Panel the outstanding PPL Scholar of the year, based on reports received from the Flying Schools, the reports made by the Scholar during the course and during long and arduous discussion between members of the Scholarship Panel.  The award is made at the Trophies and Awards Banquet held in October at Guildhall, London.  In 2018 Amy Palmer was judged to be the appropriate winner - here she is receiving the trophy from Baroness Sugg CBE and the Master, Captain Colin Cox

Landymore Amy Palmer




Presentation of Awards

Each year in November the Honourable Company celebrates the achievement of many of the Scholarship and Bursary Award Winners in Cutlers' Hall in the City of London.  Scholarship and Bursary winners assembled with their families and friends for the presentation ceremony on 22 November 2018.  A chance for the newest members of the Company to meet with the Court and, in many cases, their sponsors, to share their experiences during the summer.

PPL Scholarship winners 2018

PPL Scholarship Winners 2018 - with Tricia Nelmes, Chairman of the Scholarship Comittee

From Left to Right:  Fahim Ahmed, Tsungi Maruta, Amy Palmer, Suleman Hussain, Stephen Daly, Reshe Harrison and Jake Kenny


FIC scholarship winner

Finian Salter, Flight Instructor Scholarship Winner 2018 with the Immediate Past Master, Captain Chris Spurrier


MSc Bursary Winners

MSc Bursary Winners 2018 with the Immediate Past Master Captain Chris Spurrier

Left to Right:   Nadeem Bandali, Judith Hallam, Matthew Boraman and Timothy Gibson



Gliding Scholarship certificates are presented at the end of each residential course at the school at which the students have trained.  This enables all those who have contributed to the week to be part of the celebrations.