Airline academy celebrates five years of 'making dreams come true' at Gloucestershire Airport

Working in tandem with its US academy in Florida, Skyborne has trained up 83 airline pilots since the first course began at Gloucestershire Airport in 2019, with its graduates now flying across the globe as pilots for some of the world’s leading airlines.

By Emma Luther  |  Published
CEO of Skyborne, Lee Woodward is proud of the firm's growth over the last five years.

Skyborne is marking five years of training pilots at Gloucestershire Airport.

Since the first trainees arrived in 2019, the Staverton base has been a cornerstone of Skyborne's drive to provide first class aviation training.

Mixing ground school classroom learning, simulated flight training and aircraft flight hours over 18 months, 83 have graduated since the base was set up and it's proving popular with 154 new recruits currently in training this April 2024.

Trainees begin their ground school studies with theoretical knowledge training in Gloucestershire, before moving onto single-engine aircraft training at Skyborne’s Vero Beach base in Florida, the United States.

They then return to Gloucestershire to focus on multi-engine training; advanced Upset Prevention Recovery Training (UPRT); and enhanced multi-crew training before leaving to start their own careers. 

Skyborne’s graduates have gone on to become pilots with some of the world’s leading airlines including British Airways, easyJet, Ryanair, TUI, Jet2, DHL and Loganair.

Several graduates have also gone on to become flight instructors.

Skyborne’s Gloucestershire Airport base was built from the ground up in 2018, with state-of-the-art facilities including a fleet of training aircraft and flight simulators such as the ALSIM42 and Boeing MAX 737.

And it's proved a good investment with 'outstanding growth' from its inaugural class to its current cohort.

CEO of Skyborne, Lee Woodward, said: 'I feel incredibly proud of what we have achieved in five short years. From the academy’s formation, building bespoke training facilities, acquiring aircraft and simulators and welcoming our first trainees, to where we are today; the journey has been remarkable.'

Tapping into Gloucestershire's rich aviation history, with the first jet engine flying from Gloucester in 1941, Skyborne is proud to be part of the story of this heritage.

Carla Booth, commercial director at Skyborne, said: 'Witnessing our trainees go on to become first and second officers has been incredibly fulfilling. At Skyborne, we don’t just train pilots, we help them realise their potential and reach their goals.

'Our growing airline partnerships with British Airways, IndiGo, Delta Air Lines and SkyWest, among others, are testament to our commitment to helping our graduates thrive.'

Skyborne trainee, Tadgh Walsh, said: 'Joining Skyborne is and will always be a very special point in my lifetime. Like many, becoming a pilot has been a dream of mine since I was young, and commencing my training here is the first step to transforming that dream into a reality.'

With more than 66,000 movements a year, Gloucestershire is the busiest general aviation airport in the UK.

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