The British Aviation Experience 2023: “Incredibly Rewarding,” says CEO
The British Aviation Experience is more than just a view from a plane in the sky! It is about engines, aircraft, simulators, and global connections. It is the one time in a year when young trainees experience everything the aviation industry has to offer with the best trainers!
We had a quick talk with David, CEO of Brookfield Aviation International, about The British Aviation Experience 2023 and here's what he had to say!
Why did Brookfield Education and Training start The British Aviation Experience?
The industry will need more and more pilots, engineers, and aviation professionals of all disciplines in the foreseeable future. This programme provides a taster of so many aspects of the business for young people 14-18 years old, including flying – light aircraft, helicopter and jet simulator, visits to MROs, airline headquarters, aviation museum, control tower and airport fire station for example. They take courses in CRM, air law, navigation, safety and emergency procedures, survival and self-defence, and have informal discussions with aviation professionals, including pilots, airline managers, engineers, cabin crew and dispatchers. It's important that young people embarking on a career in aviation can make informed choices for themselves and their parents, who invariably end up funding their training, and there's no better way for a kid to find out what it's all about than attending The British Aviation Experience. It's great value.
How does it feel knowing these go-getters have logged their first few hours of flight at such a young age?
It is incredibly rewarding because we know the value of this experience. The students are trained in a very professional environment, and I know many of them will go on to have fine careers as pilots.
Do you think we're going to see them soon in pilot uniforms?
I'm sure we will. We are still in contact with many of the alums of The British Aviation Experience from 2017, 2018 and 2019, and several of them are already working as first officers with airlines in Europe, America and Asia, having initially been inspired by our programme.
Have any of your former students found other professional opportunities in aviation?
Yes, absolutely. Although the majority seem to be drawn towards a flying career, we know some who have gone into aircraft engineering, one with a management trainee place in a national airline, another working for the CAA, and many on aviation-related university degree courses.
Have you experienced any of the programme's activities yourself?
I make sure I spend at least one day with the students each year, and I join in if they'll let me! I'm always impressed by the professionalism of our business partners who conduct the different activities. I wish I was 16 again and could have the same opportunity as these fortunate young people, but I'll have to settle for sending my grandchildren in a few years' time.
What plans do you have for The British Aviation Experience in the future?
We are continually looking at new experiences to include, and we are creating bespoke programmes for private schools to include in their curriculum. We have just entertained a school party from Switzerland for the second consecutive year, and we are always happy to hear from any schools around the world who have students interested in an aviation career. The best way for them to start is with The British Aviation Experience.