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 we are fortunate to receive generous sponsorship from several sources to fund flying scholarships which are administered by the Company.  In the last round of scholarships (2021) 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 and one FIC (fixed-wing) scholarship - 'The Cadogan Scholarship's

The Air Pilots Visits Team - funding for one PPL (fixed-wing) scholarship

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

Captain Colin Donaldson – funding for one PPL scholarship – 'The Donaldson Scholarship'

BALPA Benevolent Fund -- funding for three PPL scholarships – 'The Wrigley Scholarship', 'The Lane-Burslem Scholarship', 'The Bob Dawson Scholarship

The Air Safety Trust - funding for one FIC (fixed-wing) scholarship - 'the Norman Motely FIC Scholarship'


Funding for a number of residential course Gliding Scholarships was provided by:  Virgin Atlantic, the Air Pilots Flying Club, the Benevolent Fund, and the Air Safety Trust.



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.


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


Presentation of the Awards

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.

The winner of the John Landymore Trophy in 2021 is Anne Soltow

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.  It is an opportunity for the newest members of the Company to meet with the Court and their sponsors to share their experiences of the summer.

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.




Air Pilots Schools Gliding
You may be interested to know of a scheme sponsored by a group of Livery Companies, and administered and led the the Honourable Company of Air Pilots which provides students of secondary schools and academies 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 at  Air Pilots Schools Gliding