Air BP has awarded its second Sterling Pilot Scholarship to seventeen-year-old Aberdeen student, Zoë Burnett.

The 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 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 news of 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.”

Zoë has been a committed member of the Air Cadets since she was thirteen years old which has further buoyed her enthusiasm.

Regarding her status as a female pilot, she adds: “I am also delighted to be the first young woman to receive the award. Women pilots represent only five per cent 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.”

Elena Melia, Air BP’s General Manager, UK and France added: “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. 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’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 PPL.

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