Pilot Careers

BALPA tells politicians: State funding for pilot training

pilots in simulator training

Make professional pilot training more accessible through state funding – that’s one of the demands made by the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) in its ‘manifesto for aviation’ ahead of the UK election.

“Today, the pilot profession is still one of the most inaccessible professions in the world,” says the BALPA manifesto.

“Training to be a commercial pilot is extremely expensive, often costing cadets up to £130,000. There is no funding available for this huge cost, unlike other professions including law and medicine.

“Additionally, only 6% of the workforce are women, and pilots from ethnic minority and poorer socio-economic backgrounds are even more disproportionately underrepresented.

“Those that can afford to self-fund their training face risk of losing their money when flight schools go bust as there is no financial protection for often large upfront payments.

“Government should immediately protect trainee pilots from flight school collapses by introducing new financial protections to protect cadets’ personal investments in flight schools, so that they are afforded the same level of protection as other students.

“Make the profession more accessible by opening access to a state funding mechanism – Government needs to act on its words and ensure that it’s not only those with the ‘bank of mum and dad’ that can fund their chosen career path.”

As well as pilot training costs, BALPA, which represents 10,000 UK pilots, has three other policy areas in its manifesto:

  • Protect pilot pensions
  • Improve pilots’ employment contracts
  • Accelerate Jet Zero and Sustainability.

BALPA General Secretary Amy Leversidge said, “With 60% of electoral constituencies having over 500 residents employed by aviation, candidates – especially those near airports – should take note of BALPA’s asks of the next Government.

“BALPA looks forward to working with the next Government to deliver these key policies that will enable our aviation industry to continue thriving, employing highly skilled workers on fair terms and connect our airlines with the world.”

Read the full manifesto here. 


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