It is the dream of many a young girl or boy to become a pilot. I certainly wanted to be one when I was a kid and even got to fly four sectors in the cockpit of a Dash 8 when I was a teenage one time with a Captain my Dad knew.

For many people, the cost is prohibitive, as you need to pay for lessons which are not particularly cheap. Happily British Airways have announced a scheme where you do not have to pay anything at all.

Become A British Airways Pilot

As the press release states, the airline will pay the entire £100,000 cost of the training. No doubt they are getting plenty of applications, especially as the age range is anyone between 18 and 55. Even I could apply! The main caveat seems to be that you need to have six GCSEs grade A-C or 5-9 including Maths, English and a Science or equivalent qualifications from other countries. University degrees are not accepted in lieu of this.

Apart from having an education, the rest of the criteria are fairly straightforward. Have a Passport, have the unrestricted right to live and work in the UK (right now that means anyone in the Republic of Ireland as well), meet the height range (not too tall, not too short) and basically be healthy.

A Notable Shift

There are still a lot of white men in aviation, and the industry as a whole is trying to increase diversity. It is abundantly clear BA is trying to do that, as they say, “It is hoped that by removing the high costs associated with pilot training from the applicant, people from across all communities will be encouraged to apply.”

BA say it is “helping to level the playing field and make a flying career a realistic option for all” and that’s very true. The main barrier to entry is the cost and always has been.

Overall Thoughts

Those wanting to apply can go to the British Airways Careers website right here. You need to fill out the application and once you pass that, you need to do some online tests. If you get through those, well, the sky is the limit as they say!

I know some pilots and they absolutely adore their job. The flying really gets under their skin and most would be lost without it. It seems like a damn fine career choice for anyone.

Have you applied to the BA scheme to become a pilot? What do you think of this whole thing? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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All images via British Airways.