Air BP has awarded its second Sterling Pilot Scholarship to 17 year old Aberdeen student, Zoë Burnett. This award which is valued at £10,000 will enable Zoë to complete her Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) and take the first step towards realising her ultimate ambition of becoming a commercial airline pilot. Keen to get started, Zoë commenced her PPL training at Tayside Aviation at Dundee Airport in Scotland on 14 June.
On being selected as this year’s Air BP Sterling Pilot Scholar, Zoë said, “I feel very fortunate and excited to have been selected and am very grateful to Air BP. The award will offer me the chance to pursue my lifelong dream that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do. As a young girl, I lived next to Aberdeen Airport and used to watch the aircraft take off and land. I used to dream that one day I would be sitting in the cockpit.”
Regarding her status as a female pilot, Zoë added: “I am also delighted to be the first young woman to receive the award. Women pilots represent only 5% of the total pilot population. As we currently are experiencing a pilot shortage, I would like to think that I might inspire more young women to get involved. It seems to me to be a fulfilling and challenging career choice and I’m thoroughly enjoying my training so far.”
Zoë has been a committed member of the Air Cadets since she was 13 years old which has further buoyed her enthusiasm. She is also currently in the process of completing her Duke of Edinburgh Gold award having achieved the Silver and Bronze.
Elena Melia, Air BP’s General Manager, UK and France said: “We congratulate Zoë on becoming our second Air BP Sterling Pilot Scholar. She is a bright and motivated young woman and we are delighted that our contribution will help her realise her life-long ambition. Air BP is committed to supporting young aspiring pilots like Zoë who want to build a career in aviation, and to contributing to the wider aviation community. We believe in supporting all areas of aviation, the supply of future pilots, as well as to providing a reliable supply of quality fuel”.
Air BP worked with the Honourable Company of Air Pilots, (HCAP) to organise the Air BP Sterling Pilot Scholarship because of its excellence in promoting the availability of scholarships to a wide public audience and conducting a rigorous and fair selection process.
Air BP has named the Scholarship after its globally recognised fuel payment card, the Sterling Card. The Sterling Card provides easy access to fuel for thousands of clients and makes life simpler for private pilots, aircraft management companies and corporate flight departments at any of Air BP’s 700 locations globally.
Air BP’s Sterling Pilot scholarship programme was launched in January 2015 to assist aspiring UK pilots with little or no experience of flying to achieve a Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL).