For many becoming a pilot is a dream harboured from a young age. It’s a calling, and the British Airline Pilots’ Association’s aim is to ensure it remains a great profession and one that anyone can aspire to.  

But becoming a pilot takes real determination and there are some huge challenges that aspiring pilots need to be aware of.


Basic Pilot Training and a type rating can cost up to £130,000 with no guarantee of a job at the end.

 BALPA Position

BALPA has set up the nextGen programme to help protect the profession by reaching down to these new entrants and giving them a voice. 

We offer free nextGen Associate Membership to trainee pilots to welcome them in to the pilot family and provide mentoring and support from experienced pilots.

BALPA is striving for equal opportunity to ensure future pilots are drawn from all parts of society.

We believe more needs to be done to get the Government and industry to foot some of the bill for training. We are asking the Government to look at ways it can support new pilots, including considering how the apprenticeship levy could help.

At the same time BALPA representatives are negotiating brakes on the erosion of new starters' terms and conditions. BALPA is encouraging airlines to agree permanent contracts and move away from employing pilots through temporary work agencies or on zero hour contracts.

For the UK aviation industry to continue to thrive and remain a valuable input in to the UK economy, it needs a supply of highly trained pilots.

BALPA is calling on airlines, regulators and the government to ensure fresh talent is supported and that terms and conditions for new starters are  not pushed in a downwards race to the bottom.