Six scholarship applicants — four young men and two young women — will be earning their private pilot license this summer aided by the Bremerton Pilots Association’s matching funds program.
This represents more than $42,000 in revenue to the local FBO, Avian Flight Center, at the Bremerton National Airport in Washington state, association officials say.
“We are so pleased to be able to help these young adults get a head start into aviation on an affordable basis,” said Jim Posner, president of the BPA. “There is a growing shortage of pilots and we are proud to be a part of addressing that need.”
The scholarship program offers qualified applicants (aged 17-21 with a 3.0 GPA or better) an award of $3,500 each towards the cost of obtaining their certificates which, together with an equal amount from the applicant, is roughly what it costs to get a license.
This money is raised through auctions, donations, planned giving, and other fund-raising activities conducted by the BPA throughout the year.
The Port of Bremerton, which owns the airport, also contributes one full scholarship to the program each year.
Doug Haughton, past president of the BPA and a member of the scholarship committee, has been involved with this program since its start when there was only $100 in the fund.
“We’ve come a long way since then,” he said. “I just love to see the grin on the applicant’s face when he or she gets the award and starts his or her training.”