Air League

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The Air League
Air League Logo.jpeg
Founded 1909
Type Charity [1]
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (Patron) Andrew Brookes (Director) Brian Burridge (President)
Slogan Keep Britain at the forefront of Aviation.

The Air League is a not-for-profit[1] aviation society in the United Kingdom, founded in 1909.

Over 100 years after it was formed, the Air League’s mission is to enhance national understanding of the importance to the UK of aviation and aerospace, and to excite young people’s interest in these areas by helping them get involved. The Air League Trust is now the major provider of powered flying, ballooning, gliding and engineering scholarships and bursaries to young people and disabled veterans.[2]

The Patron of the Air League is Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and the current President of the Air League is Air Chief Marshal Sir Brian Burridge.


Founded in 1909 originally as The Aerial League of The British Empire, The Air League was formed to counter ‘the backwardness and apathy’ shown by the UK in the face of emerging aeronautical developments and to stress the ‘vital importance from a commercial and national defence point of view of this new means of communication’.

The founders of the Air League were concerned that Britain was falling behind other nations in the development of its aviation capability. The popular image of early flying in this country might be that of well heeled young adventurers seeking new thrills, but amidst the razzamatazz, serious minds were at work. They foresaw the threats, both military and commercial, to the country’s future wellbeing if aviation was not made central to government thinking. It was due in no small measure to their foresight and determination that when the First World War broke out five years later, Britain was taking aviation sufficiently seriously to be able to develop and produce aircraft that could hold their own in the rapidly evolving scramble for air superiority.[2]

In 1938 The Air League founded the Air Defence Cadet Corps, which is now Air Training Corps.[2]


The Mission of the Air League is to generate national understanding of the importance to the UK of aviation and aerospace, and to excite the interest of young people in these areas by helping them to become involved.[3] The Air League has seven key aspects of interest:

  • Education and Training[4]

Promoting air-mindedness in the young by encouraging and assisting them to follow careers in aviation and the aerospace industry. Awarding scholarships and bursaries to assist deserving young people to learn to fly. Awarding engineering scholarships to assist deserving young people to gain experience of the aerospace industry

Fighting for the development and maintenance of effective airpower through regular contact with the Fleet Air Arm, Army Air Corps and Royal Air Force

  • Air Transport[4]

Supporting civil aviation policies which promote an internationally competitive air transport industry

  • Aerospace Industry[4]

Encouraging a climate in which a successful and technologically advanced aerospace industry will prosper

  • General Aviation[4]

Fostering a healthy General Aviation sector

  • Infrastructure[4]

Channelling investment in infrastructure improvements for the development of aviation

Promoting national interest in space

Leading Edge[edit]


The Air League Leading Edge is the element of The Air League designed for members aged under 35 years.[5]

The intention is to develop networking opportunities and highlight ways in which young members can contact The Air League and fellow peers to make the most out of being a member of The Air League.[5]

The Leading Edge regularly arrange a number of events including visits and trips to RAF stations, Airports, ATC centres and a number of social events allowing young Air League members to network.[5]

The current Leading Edge Chairman is Matthew Wong. Who started his tenure in September 2016.

Awards & Scholarships[edit]

The Air League Trust annually awards prestigious flying scholarships, flying bursaries, gliding scholarships and engineering scholarships. Over the past decade Scholarships worth over £1 million have been allocated to young people across the UK. Annually The Air League awards in the order of 50 Flying Scholarships, 12 Gliding scholarship and numerous engineering scholarships.

The Air League awards:[6]



  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b c "History of The Air League". Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  3. ^ "Our Mission". The Air League. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "What We Do". The Air League. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c "Leading Edge". The Air League. 18 October 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Awards". The Air League. Archived from the original on 7 June 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2007. 
  7. ^ "Biography of Viscount Thurso Archibald Sinclair". Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  8. ^ "Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, the 14th Duke of Hamilton". Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation - Marshal of the RAF Sir John Grandy". Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Air League Flight International, 14 February 1990
  11. ^ Debrett's People of Today 1994
  12. ^ "Anglia Ruskin University". Retrieved 26 May 2014. 

External links[edit]