Who we are

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) is the professional association and registered trade union established to represent the interests of all UK pilots. We represent over 10,000 pilots and are recognised in 23 different companies; that’s over 85% of all commercial pilots flying in the UK. The association holds the largest collective resource of commercial pilot qualification and experience in the UK


As an organisation of highly-trained flight deck professionals, BALPA has unrivalled access to the expertise and experience of its 10,000 members. Many pilots form specialist study groups or committees to support our professional and technical services. Together, they represent a body of knowledge covering the following areas.

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Our team

BALPA is a community of elected pilot representatives and pilot volunteers, managed by a pilot executive, and supported by over 40 full-time staff members and professional specialists. Find out who you need to contact from our HQ team of staff.

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National Executive Council (NEC)

The National Executive Council (NEC) is the elected body that is responsible for the Association. As well as generating policy and association strategy, the NEC ensures that the organisation is run in an efficient, legal and responsible manner.

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Our history

Eric Lane Burslem, eventually BALPA’s first chairman, set up a pilots’ association in response to the irresponsible attitude of his airline towards flight safety. He worked with other pilots to create an ‘Organising Committee’ who proposed the first set of association rules to a mass meeting of pilots on 27th June 1937.

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BALPA Documents

Access detailed information on how BALPA operates on behalf of its members. Included here are financial reports, rules for the association and other key documentation.

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