A Career in the Sky

British Airways Future Pilot Programme and CTC Aviation

Careers in aviation can be an attractive proposition for service leavers, especially those with flying and aeronautical experience. British Airways is one company that is constantly looking for and training new pilots.

The company has an extensive global route network operated by a world class team of professionals and it offers opportunitis to fast-track right to the heart of that team.

British Airways’s flagship Future Pilot Programme provides future airline pilots with the ultimate in dream opportunities – a bespoke British Airways programme for first time pilots leading to a career as a First Officer with one of the world’s greatest airlines. Furthermore, to ensure that the very best talent is selected for training, BA will, where required, provide the necessary guarantee to enable successful applicants to secure the required funding.

In August 2011 British Airways approved CTC Aviation to provide aspiring aviators with the very best training and ensure British Airways’s future pilot team is continuously supplied with world class pilots. So far, this ground-breaking programme has provided an opportunity for 160 new pilots to join British Airways – many are about to start operating as a British Airways First Officer, others are either close to completing training or just about to embark on their dream career with one of the world’s leading airlines.

This year a minimum of 60 new pilots will be selected and trained for British Airways through the Future Pilot Programme. Captain Robert Glover-Faure, head of BA’s Resourcing, IR and Strategy, said: “BA’s Future Pilot Programme is a fantastic opportunity for anyone, from any background to realise their ambition of becoming a pilot and flying for British Airways.”

CTC Aviation is delighted to have been chosen as an Approved Training Organisation (ATO) to deliver the training for the British Airways Future Pilot Programme. Its pilots are known in the industry as being some of the best pilots around and BA’s approval is a true endorsement of that reputation.

CTC’s approach to training is extremely specialised. It focuses entirely on the airline way of doing things, so even from day one of your training with us, you will be taught to do things the airline way. This approach is called ‘Vertical Integration’ (VI ).

This total focus on your end goal (becoming a British Airways pilot) will ensure you are fully prepared for your future role. CTC is completely airline-focused in its approach which means your transition through each stage of training will be seamless, making you a better future pilot. ‘VI ’ is key to your future – the entire programme is focused on ensuring all your skills are fine tuned. Incorporated into the programme are ‘Airline Preparation Days’ (APD) throughout every stage of the training to hone interpersonal and non technical skills, alongside the more obvious handling and technical knowledge required to manage the aircraft as a professional airline pilot.

Training takes place at CTC’s Crew Training Centres in both the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Candidates will be trained by some of the most highly qualified instructors in the industry (many of whom are ex British Airways Captains and First Officers) and benefit from state-of-the-art training facilities. These include flying the world’s leading training aircraft – the DA42 – and developing jet handling skills with the support of experienced airline training captains utilising CTC’s Boeing or Airbus flight simulators. From the start of the course to the completion of the airline jet type rating will take approximately 77 weeks including travel time and some rest periods. The company also provides training for many of the worlds other airlines.

A BSc Degree with Honours in Professional Aviation Pilot Practice is now available in association with Middlesex University, CTC Wings and its Partner Airlines. A new generation of airline pilots will now be eligible to fund their studies through the grant of UK government loan support which significantly lessens the financial burden of becoming an airline pilot.

Completing a degree through the CTC Wings cadet route will provide you with the opportunity to complete a BSc Honours Degree whilst undergoing flying training. As you progress through the course you will be credited by Middlesex University for the work completed both academically and through your flying exercises and experience. The final part of the degree will be completed whilst working with one of CTC’s partner airlines.

You can now apply via the UCAS website or direct to CTC Aviation. For cadets who undertake the BSc(Hons) Professional Aviation Pilot Practice degree course, tuition fees are payable directly to Middlesex University for each academic year of the programme. The tuition fees for the 2013/14 academic year are £9,000 equating to a total of £27,000 for the three full time years of the programme at current rates. In addition to the tuition fees charged by Middlesex University, CTC will make operational and equipment charges of £74,300 to include aircraft and simulator hire, airport and CAA fees and pilot equipment.

Chloe Harrison was a cadet in the Air Training Corps and CTC made her lifelong dream of becoming an airline pilot come true. It was dramatically obvious that from a very young age a conventional office job was not for her. She had a yearning to explore and meet people from all across the globe. She said: “The earliest I can remember being in reverence of the  aviation industry was when I used to meet my Grandad in the Air Traffic Control Tower at London Heathrow. Watching these colossal machines take off into the sky was awe inspiring and from then on I knew – whether it was as an Air Traffic Controller, an Engineer or a Pilot – that this was the industry for me.”

Chloe joined the Air Training Corps at thirteen and the first thing she did was visit RAF Benson for an air experience flight. “I got to ‘take control’ of the aircraft and since then, I have never looked back. The feeling of being in the air in control of an aircraft is exhilarating and left me with the ambition to spend my life perfecting my own flying skills. Whilst here, I met the most inspiring man, an Ex-British Airways Captain – Captain Tom Pearce-Carr – who told me of remarkable stories about all the different places he had seen across his career.

“Whilst with the ATC I was lucky enough to be awarded with scholarships from both the Air Cadets and the Air League, enabling me to conduct my first ‘solo’ flight at sixteen, reassuring me that a career as a Pilot was what I needed to pursue,” she continued.

In October 2006 Chloe started a Physics degree at Reading, staying on for a fourth year to complete a Masters in 2010. Maths and Physics were always subjects she was hugely interested in at school and knew that this education would leave her in good stead for the examinations ahead.

“After graduating, I applied to the CTC Wings programme and found myself being selected as one of the lucky few! My course started in Autumn 2010 and I was eager to get going. However, with only a few weeks until the course commenced, and when looking further into the finances, it was obvious that even with the help of all of my family we were not able to guarantee the loan which meant that I would have to forfeit my place on the course.

“This was quite a gutting time, however it wasn’t going to stop me achieve my dream. I joined a recruitment company in Oxford and for twelve months; working early mornings to late at night to save enough for a Modular course. In summer 2011 I learned that British Airways was launching the Future Pilot Programme (FPP). This was the chance that I had been waiting for! BA offers a guarantee to help raise funds for the course and one of its preferred Flight Training Organisation was in fact CTC Aviation. I applied straight away and was interviewed alongside many others with the same aspiration. In December 2011 I was given the incredible news of my place on the FPP training with one of the top FTOs in the world with a conditional offer of employment for a First Officer position with British Airways on successful completion of the course.”

Chloe concluded: “It is not a career for those without a deep buried desire. At times it is a struggle but with the end goal of a right hand seat with the best Airline in the world, constant mentoring, training by a renowned FTO and amazing peer support, it’s definitely worth it.

“If it wasn’t for the help of CTC Aviation, British Airways, the Air Training Corps and Captain Tom Pearce-Carr, I would not be where I am today. Training to be an Airline Pilot is  hard and a level of intelligence is needed, but my advice to all those that may feel discouraged upon hearing this; is we’re all normal, yet diligent and motivated people. Just together  we share an innate aspiration to fly. As proven in my situation, giving up is not an option. Research the different options you can take, learn about the scholarships on offer and take advantage of them.”

For further information on pilot training visit www.ctcwings.com or www.britishairways.com/careers/futurepilot