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AIM HIGH SCHOLARSHIP PROVIDES LIFT-OFF FOR TEN LOCAL YOUNGSTERS

Ten young people from the Biggin Hill and Bromley community have just completed a week-long Aim High scholarship course, an educational programme that promotes the benefits of careers in aviation and helps to give them self-confidence and a belief in their personal ambitions.

The group of ten, all aged between 15 to 18, came from local schools and youth organisations.  To win a place in the scholarship programme, each one had successfully completed a comprehensive application process that included a friendly interview.

Earlier in the year, Biggin Hill Airport had collaborated with the Gloucestershire-based national charity fly2Help in introducing the educational programme to the South London schools community to run during the autumn half term break.    Colin Hitchins, the airport’s Community Engagement Manager, worked with fly2Help coordinator Glenn Stanley, a former RAF engineer, to create a structure programme of visits to interesting places and for opportunities to create inspiration and understanding.

At Biggin Hill Airport, every company approached for assistance immediately engaged with the project.   The group visited Signature to see VIP passenger services, the renowned helicopter operator Castle Air, aircraft repair and maintenance under way at JETS, the specialist aircraft interiors company RAS Completions and the Heritage Hangar with engineering and restoration work  in progress on famous WWII fighter aircraft.  Visits to the airport Air Traffic Control, Rescue & Firefighting Service, the aircraft fuelling team and the flying schools, also the busy ‘Lookout’ Café.   The group also visited London City Airport for a privileged look behind the scenes and to the Easyjet base airline at London Gatwick Airport.

The week’s programme culminated with parents and teachers attending a presentation delivered by the ten students at which they described their reactions to the career opportunities that they had experienced and how the course had opened their eyes and minds to potential aviation careers.  Each student was presented with a qualifying Certificate by Will Curtis, the airport’s managing director.

Colin Hitchins said that the young scholars reacted well to all that they saw.

“In the short time since the Bromley Council agreed the change to the airport’s operating hours, we have seen a marked increase in the number of job opportunities here.  The Aim High scholars have now seen the huge diversity of career options that airport companies now offer.  Our job is to continue to inspire future generations of youngsters towards the aerospace industry and we warmly acknowledge the leading role that the Aim High programme is taking in this process” he said

Alison Pavier, CEO at fly2help, said that she was impressed with the performance of the Aim High scholars.

“These young people had all demonstrated an interest in aviation at interview and their enthusiasm grew every day during the half-term programme. It was fantastic to watch them gain confidence, experience and skills of real value and they were all great fun to be with” she said.

“fly2help will be running more Aim High courses at Biggin Hill and we are keen to hear from people and organisations in the aviation world who can help with hosting visits, giving talks and  offer work experience” added Alison Pavier.

Issued by Biggin Hill Airport Ltd – www.bigginhillairport.com

Media contact is Simon Ames – Head of Communications – M: 07785 745857