Acto de presentación de las Becas Carlos Salas

The 2nd edition of the Carlos Salas Scholarships grows and consolidates to reach more young pilots.

28 April 2023
  • The 2nd edition of the Carlos Salas Scholarships will offer 8 scholarships -3 gold scholarships and 5 silver scholarships- to benefit more future pilots.
  • During the presentation of the scholarships, a greater political will has been called for to establish public aid for pilot training.
  • The event was attended by representatives from the aviation authority, air operators, universities, training centers, and aviation sector organizations.

Madrid, April 27, 2023 - The Official College of Commercial Airline Pilots (COPAC), the Spanish Airline Pilots Union (SEPLA) and Global Training Aviation (GTA) have presented the second edition of the Carlos Salas Scholarships for young pilots, whose purpose is to facilitate access and professional development of future generations of pilots and promote excellence in training.

Following the success of the first edition, this new call for scholarships expands its scope, from 2 to 8 scholarships - 3 gold scholarships and 5 silver scholarships -, which will allow winners to fully or partially finance the type rating course of the aircraft of their choice (A320, B737, ATR 500 or ATR 600). Interested parties can consult the rules and submit their applications from today until May 31.

For COPAC, SEPLA and GTA, this boost to the scholarships is a source of satisfaction, since more young people will be able to benefit from an initiative that wants to contribute to overcoming the economic barrier that the high cost of type rating and pilot training as a whole entails.

Likewise, these scholarships want to draw attention to the lack of public aid for pilot training, despite it being a service profession that can be studied at public universities in Spain since 2010. In this sense, the organizers have called for political will to establish some type of scholarship or aid so that the economic cost of pilot training is not an impediment for young people with vocation and qualities.

The event was attended by the Director General of Civil Aviation, Mr. David Benito, who highlighted "the goodness of an initiative aimed at excellence, university education and facilitating access to a very demanding profession".

For her part, the director of the State Air Safety Agency, Montserrat Mestres, has expressed her support for the Carlos Salas Scholarships, highlighting that "to promote talent, it is essential to have the commitment of public and private organizations that contribute to increasing aviation standards."

There was also a roundtable, moderated by Álvaro Gammicchia, Vocal of COPAC, on the professional profile of the current and future commercial pilot to meet the needs of the air industry and exercise their responsibilities with the utmost guarantees. In the debate, Manuel Ángel Samaniego, crew training manager at Iberia Airlines, Alberto Hernández, crew training manager at Vueling Airlines, José Luis Parra, Deputy Director of Training at GTA, Leonardo Falcó, Business Development Director at European Flyers, and José Luis Lozano, Director of Safety Management and Flight Personnel at the State Air Safety Agency, participated.

The participants in the debate highlighted the importance of receiving quality initial training and the evolution of training towards the development of competencies and capabilities to improve the professional performance of the pilot. Likewise, they predicted the increasingly important role of new technologies and virtual reality in training, which will allow for efficiency and cost combination.

Finally, the President of the Airlines Association (ALA), Javier Gándara, was in charge of closing the event. In his speech, he recalled the social value of aviation to improve the lives of millions of people and its contribution to the economy, and expressed ALA's support for the Carlos Salas scholarships so that this initiative can grow and so that future pilots can also have assistance for their training.

During the presentation, attendees remembered the figure of Carlos Salas Ortiz de Villajos, dean of the Official College of Commercial Airline Pilots, who died prematurely in May 2021, whose commitment to improving air transportation and the pilot profession was constant.

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