APPLICATIONS OPEN FROM 16TH APRIL 2024

SPEEDBIRD PILOT ACADEMY

YOUR FULLY-FUNDED direct
pathway to british airways

British Airways, the UK’s flag carrier, has selected Skyborne as the official UK preferred supplier for the new Speedbird Pilot Academy. Your route to becoming a British Airways pilot. 

This multi-million-pound pilot training initiative offers a fully-funded path to the flight deck with British Airways, training at the most trusted airline academy in the industry, with world-class facilities and teaching staff with a wealth of airline experience.

Fully-funded places for the Speedbird Pilot Academy will be available here at Skyborne.
Together with British Airways, Skyborne is playing a pivotal role in driving change, showing people from all walks of life how exciting and secure an airline pilot career can be.

The Speedbird Pilot Academy application window will re-open on 16th April 2024, register your interest on the British Airways careers page to receive job alerts. 

Key Features

The benefits of training at Skyborne include:

Fully-funded academy

Multi-million-pound training initiative offering a fully-funded path to the BA flight deck.

Career development

The Speedbird Pilot Academy offers the opportunity to secure a Conditional Job Offer as a Professional Pilot.

BA approved flight
training facility

Purpose built training centres and accommodation in the UK and U.S.

Airline focussed training

Learn from our talented and skilled instructors while participating in a fully-mentored pilot career development programme.

Fantastic Locations

Train at the busiest general aviation airport in the UK and year round sunshine in Florida.

Regular intakes

Frequent course start dates.

pilot mentors

British Airways' pilot mentors supporting you on your journey.

Course Breakdown

timeline

Skyborne takes a truly integrated approach to your airline pilot training, using our many years of experience to devise the best curriculum for you to learn the necessary skills to become an airline pilot with British Airways.

Training takes place in five phases and the whole course takes approximately 18 months to complete.

Your aircraft flight training will start earlier than in most other flight schools. The ATPL theoretical knowledge training is delivered in two parts, with the initial flight training sandwiched in between. 

PHASE 1 - Theoretical Knowledge Training - gloucestershire airport, uk
28 weeks
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PHASE 1 - Theoretical Knowledge Training - gloucestershire airport, uk
PHASE 2 – single-engine flight training including CPL - vero beach, Florida, U.S.A
26 weeks
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PHASE 2 – single-engine flight training including CPL - vero beach, Florida, U.S.A
PHASE 3 – multi-engine IR training - Gloucestershire airport, uk
9.5 weeks
PHASE 3 – multi-engine IR training - Gloucestershire airport, uk
PHASE 4 – Advanced UPRT - gloucestershire airport, uk
0.5 week
PHASE 4 – Advanced UPRT - gloucestershire airport, uk
PHASE 5 – aps mcc - gloucestershire airport, uk
3 weeks
PHASE 5 – aps mcc - gloucestershire airport, uk

Your pathway to British Airways

There is a selection process to undertake for the British Airways Speedbird Pilot Academy. We have listed the high-level steps below for reference. Please scroll through the steps.

The application process is free.

Start your application by clicking 'APPLY NOW' during the application window
You will be asked to complete a series of questionnaires and online assessments
If shortlisted you will be invited to attend a video interview with British Airways
Successful candidates will be shortlisted to take part in the Skyborne online assessment
If shortlisted you will be invited to attend a face to face interview
Candidates will be further shortlisted to attend the British Airways' assessment centre at Waterside
Successful candidates will be notified. You will be notified of your course start date

Application requirements

In order to apply, candidates will need: 

6 GCSE’s (or equivalent), Grade A-C or 5-9 (including English, Maths and one of the Sciences).

You can be 17 when you apply, but you must turn 18 before 1st January 2025 (if your 18th birthday is on 1st January 2025 or after 1st January 2025 you will need to apply in future application windows). You must be between 18 and 55 before training starts.

You must be between 1.57m (5'2") and 1.91m (6'3") tall. Your height will be accurately determined during the assessment process. Those taller than 1.91m may submit an application but will be required to undergo a functionality check to confirm their ability to meet the requirements of the seating positions in the British Airways fleet of aircraft.

Tattoos are permissible as long as they are not on the hands, face or head.

You must hold a valid passport (with minimum of 12 months before expiry date at time of joining) allowing unrestricted worldwide travel. You must have the unrestricted right to live and work in the UK without sponsorship.

A current and valid unrestricted UK CAA Class 1 Medical Certificate and FAA Class 3 Medical Certificate is required before the commencement of training. You must have a good level of physical fitness, and the ability to satisfy British Airways medical requirements.

You must be fluent in English – both written and spoken. As a guide, you must be proficient enough to achieve ICAO Level 6 or IELTS Level 5.5 (academic).


Technical skills are important, but it’s your behaviour as a British Airways pilot that will really set you apart. British Airways is unique, their pilots are very passionate and enthusiastic about the role they have in connecting Britain with the world and the world with Britain.

You’ll need to demonstrate the passion and motivation to excel during the training programme, the ability to remain calm under pressure and a strong ability to solve problems. Collaborating and demonstrating you’re a team player is also essential to create incredible experiences for your customers and colleagues on board.

Further Questions?

To find out more about the Speedbird Pilot Academy by British Airways, read our frequently asked questions section.

Useful information for parents

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PHASE 1 - THEORETICAL KNOWLEDGE TRAINING - GLOUCESTERshire airport, uk

Your training starts in our headquarters at Gloucestershire Airport, UK, where you will study and be examined on the UK CAA ATPL subjects. 13 exams will be completed during this phase.

PHASE 2 – SINGLE-ENGINE FLIGHT TRAINING INCLUDING CPL - vero beach, FLORIDA, U.S

Once you have completed ground school in the UK, you will transition into the single-engine phase of flight training, up to and including, the Commercial Pilots License (CPL) at Skyborne’s fair-weather base in Vero Beach, Florida.

This phase of flight training is completed on our Piper Warrior and Arrow aircraft, plus Red Bird simulators.

PHASE 3 – MULTI-ENGINE IR TRAINING - GLOUCESTERshire airport, UK

On your return from Florida, you will complete your Instrument Rating (IR) at Gloucestershire Airport, on the Diamond DA-42 aircraft and simulators. 

PHASE 5 – APS MCC - GLOUCESTERshire airport, uk

This final phase will see you complete 40-hours of enhanced multi-crew training to airline pilot standards (APS MCC) on our Boeing 737 MAX simulator.

You will spend the first week in ground school, learning about air law, airline operations, multi-crew procedures, plus technical training. Once this part is complete you will spend the remaining 2 weeks in the B737 MAX simulator, progressively developing jet handling techniques and multi-crew skills. This ensures you will be fully prepared to commence type rating and line training with the airline.

What Happens Next ?

Commercial airline Programme

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CFI / CFII / MEII

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Leave with Pilot License

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What Happens Next ?

Commercial airline Programme

Odio morbi quis commodo odio aenean tristique risus nec feugiat in fermentum posuere. (15w)

CFI / CFII / MEII

Odio morbi quis commodo odio aenean tristique risus nec feugiat in fermentum posuere. (15w)

Leave with Pilot License

Odio morbi quis commodo odio aenean tristique risus nec feugiat in fermentum posuere. (15w)

What Happens Next ?

Commercial airline Programme

Odio morbi quis commodo odio aenean tristique risus nec feugiat in fermentum posuere. (15w)

CFI / CFII / MEII

Odio morbi quis commodo odio aenean tristique risus nec feugiat in fermentum posuere. (15w)

Leave with Pilot License

Odio morbi quis commodo odio aenean tristique risus nec feugiat in fermentum posuere. (15w)

What Happens Next ?

Commercial airline Programme

Odio morbi quis commodo odio aenean tristique risus nec feugiat in fermentum posuere. (15w)

CFI / CFII / MEII

Odio morbi quis commodo odio aenean tristique risus nec feugiat in fermentum posuere. (15w)

Leave with Pilot License

Odio morbi quis commodo odio aenean tristique risus nec feugiat in fermentum posuere. (15w)