ABOVE: The BWPA awarded a total of 22 scholarships in 2022. 

The British Women Pilots’ Association (the BWPA) has announced its annual aviation scholarships will open for applications this September.

Open to ‘women of any age and background’, the scholarships are intended for ‘any type of flying’ and will help winners ‘in various ways, including gaining their first qualifications, building upon existing qualifications, or working towards a first paid flying job’.

The largest and longest-running organisation of women pilots in the UK, the BWPA was founded in 1955 with the aim of supporting women’s participation in all areas of aviation and flying. Noting that ‘today, there continues to be only 5-6% females flying professionally in the UK and worldwide’ (with similar percentages in general aviation), the BWPA hopes the scholarship scheme will help support its key aim of ‘promoting women’s training and employment within the sector’.

“Our scholarships are about more than just financial support, they can also change lives,” explained BWPA Chairwoman Sharon Nicholson. “Investing in [recipients’] future leads to positive change, not only in their individual journeys but also in the broader landscape of aviation”.

A variety of scholarships are typically available each year, with the BWPA receiving over 200 applications in 2022. Angela Donnelly (winner of one of last year’s Flying Start Scholarships) explained how alongside enabling her to continue with her PPL without financial restrictions, the award also afforded her the opportunity to “be part of an active community that inspires with their passion and joy of aviation”.

This year’s scholarships will open for applications from BWPA members in September, when applicants will be ‘asked to submit information on their current aviation experience, what they enjoy most about flying, why they believe they deserve the award and how they would use the award if successful’. A panel of judges will then shortlist the candidates they believe ‘show the most promise for their future flying’.