Boeing, the prominent commercial aircraft manufacturing company, has announced a $950,000 investment in pilot training scholarships in order to increase and diversify the talent required to meet the large long-term demand for commercial aviation pilots.
Boeing will donate $500,000 to five aviation organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to educating future pilots, including Sisters of the Skies, Latino Pilots Association, Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and Women in Aviation International, to fund 25 scholarships for aspiring pilots.
“Demand for qualified and diverse pilots remains high at airlines worldwide,” said Ziad Ojakli, executive vice president of Government Operations at Boeing. While becoming a pilot is a vocation that can last a lifetime, access to training remains a barrier for many. These organizations are assisting the next generation of pilots in reaching their full potential while also demonstrating to communities that have historically been underrepresented in the industry that a career in aviation is feasible.”
The remaining $450,000 will be donated to Fly Compton, a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles that educates minority children about aerospace careers.
“We are grateful for the tremendous support from our partners at Boeing,” said Demetrius Harris, president and executive director of Fly Compton. They remain persistent in their dedication to tearing down obstacles for minority youngsters in the aviation industry.”
He further stated that the company recognizes that “underrepresented populations are discouraged from pursuing careers in aviation due to a lack of exposure, access to resources, and the high cost of flight training.” We are committed to removing these barriers to access, and this financing from Boeing allows us to continue this vital work.”
The funds will be used to increase the amount of flying training sessions accessible to students in Compton, Los Angeles, as well as to provide career-related education in the design, construction, and repair of aircraft and drones.
Over the next 20 years, Boeing estimates that 602,000 additional pilots will be required to operate and maintain the world’s commercial aircraft.
According to Chris Broom, vice president of Commercial Training Solutions for Boeing Global Services, “We are seeing more women and individuals from diverse backgrounds entering the pilot profession because of the mentorship and guidance that aviation organizations like these provide for early career professionals.”
He added that “The work they’re doing to implement changes needed to remove social and financial barriers to entry are critical.”
Using the example of Cailey Stewart, a Black high school senior, whom Boeing surprised with a $50,000 scholarship to her dream flight school in 2021, Essence reported that over the past six years, Boeing has invested more than $8.5 million to bring pilot training programs into underrepresented communities across the country.