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Join Balpa

Become a
BALPA Member

With more than 85% of pilots, winchmen and flight engineers in the UK on board, we provide a variety of membership options to suit your position.

  • Legal Advice & Representation

    Access to BALPA’s Legal Services is one of the most highly valued benefits among our members. In an uncertain world it provides peace of mind and superb value for money. We offer legal representation to members in cases with good prospects in matters arising from your employment, assistance with personal injury claims at home and abroad and 24 hr emergency assistance when on duty.

  • Industrial Support
    Being a BALPA member means you’ll have a say in your pay and benefits. Our team of expert negotiators and Company Council reps work to protect the piloting profession, your working conditions and your quality of life. We offer bespoke support to pilots though issues such as grievance and disciplinary action and scrutinise working conditions across the industry.
  • Personal Support

    When things get tough professionally or personally, BALPA is here for you. Our Pilot Advisory Group (PAG) is a peer group of experienced, professional pilots, who are also trained counsellors and can assist you through difficulties. PAG volunteers work quietly from home on the telephone and are available to talk confidentially to any BALPA member whenever you need them: 365/24/7.

  • Community

    By joining BALPA you’ll gain access to our network of more than 10,000 pilots and our expert staff. You’ll be part of the BALPA community, directing our work and helping us ensure the voice of UK pilots is heard. You’ll be able to access all our in-house expertise including all the services listed below. You’ll also receive regular updates on BALPA activity and receive our award-winning Log magazine.

  • Career Management

    Whether you are just starting out or are an experienced pilot, BALPA’s Career Services has numerous resources that can help you manage your career. Hear about the latest aviation opportunities and access bespoke advice, webinars and guides from our aviation specialist career experts.

Membership FAQs

Who can apply

Year 1
Year 2
Year 3 onwards
Legal advice & representation
Industrial support
Employment issues advice
Careers advice
Access to member portal, news & apps
Log magazine


0.5% of salary
0.75% of salary
1% of salary

Helicopter Winchman
Ground instructor

0.5% of salary

Overseas (non-UK)
RPAS / Drone pilots

£24 / year



Thoughts from
Our Members.

How is my subscription calculated?

For full members, subscription is based on annual pensionable pay on the date of joining and, if nothing about your employment has changed, is revised annually to reflect your salary on 1st January each year. First time members benefit from 50% reduction fee in year one, and 25% reduction in year two.  If your employment information changes during the year, you must inform us so this can be reflected in your membership.

How do I pay for my subscription?

Once you’ve joined you don’t need to do anything, we will collect subscriptions by Direct Debit at the start of each month.

Can I claim any of my subscription back?

Yes! You can claim 67% of your BALPA subscription back against your taxable income. You may also be able to claim FREA (fixed-rate expense allowance) of £1022. You can find more details of how to claim this in the members portal after joining.

I’m just starting my pilot training, can I join?

Yes! You can join BALPA for free as a trainee member whilst you are training towards a commercial license. You’ll be able to connect with other trainee pilots as well get career advice such as applying for your first flying job and tips for an airline interview.

What qualifications do I need to join as a working pilot?

To qualify for full membership you must hold a current Professional Pilot’s Licence or a Flight Engineers Licence issued by the UK or any of the JAA countries, be engaged in British commercial flying and be based in the UK, or employed by a UK company abroad.

What qualifications do I need to join Class B membership?

You should be a ground instructor or helicopter winchman employed in British commercial flying.

What legal advice and representation do BALPA provide?

BALPA’s legal assistance scheme is for work related issues and is one of the most highly valued benefits among our members. In an uncertain world, it provides peace of mind and superb value for money. Members are not usually eligible for legal support until they have been members for more than 3 months.

The cost of taking legal action on members’ behalf can be expensive, which means in general a case would need to have good prospects of success to be supported (i.e. more than 50% chance of success). However, on issues of policy or where cases have an industry-wide importance, these may be pursued, even if on occasions our chance of success is rated at less than even. Ultimately, it is a matter of sound judgement, but the policy has paid off over the years with millions of pounds in compensation and costs being awarded to our members.

What access do I get on the BALPA website?

You will have access to our BALPA members portal, here you will find the latest news and events, connect with other pilots as part of the BALPA community as well as access to resources and guides relating to employment, personal finance, flight safety and much more.