COPAC, Sepla and GTA have created the Carlos Salas Scholarships aimed at facilitating access to the profession for young pilots, by financing the aircraft type rating course, in order to help overcome the economic barrier that the high cost of the course can represent.
The dean of the COPAC, Carlos San José; the president of Sepla, Óscar Sanguino; and the director and founding partner of GTA, Fernando Gómez, today signed the collaboration agreement for the creation of the scholarships, which will be awarded on an annual basis.
The initiative arises from the desire of the three organisations to contribute to the access and professional development of future generations of pilots and, at the same time, to honour the memory of Carlos Salas Ortiz de Villajos, dean of the COPAC, who died prematurely due to COVID-19 in May 2021.
Training to become a pilot and obtain a flight licence involves a high financial outlay for which there is no public funding. Obtaining a type rating for the future pilot has become a necessary requirement for access to the profession and to be eligible for the selection processes of operators. With the Carlos Salas Scholarships, COPAC, Sepla and GTA want to support the youngest pilots in their beginnings as pilots. “In Spain there is no scholarship programme for those who want to become pilots. With these scholarships we want to contribute to filling this gap, while at the same time promoting excellence in training,” say the three organisations.
Those interested in applying for the two Carlos Salas scholarships, worth 12,500 euros each, must submit their applications and the required documentation before 15 July. Among the requirements to be met are having obtained a pilot’s licence in the last 36 months or proving to be one of the best students in their class, among others.
The study and adjudication commission will evaluate all the applications and assign a score based on objective criteria. Candidates will have to pass a personal interview and a simulator test, to which the 10 applicants with the highest scores will be admitted. Those associated with Sepla will obtain five additional points in the first phase of the process.
Carlos Salas Ortiz de Villajos (Valencia, 1961 – Madrid, 2021), an airline commander with more than 17,500 flight hours, always stood out for his great passion for aviation and his vocation of service to the profession, for which he always worked beyond the flight deck.
For decades he combined his activity as a pilot with institutional representation, as a member of different national and international organisations. He held various positions in the Spanish Airline Pilots Union (Sepla), was Vice-President of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations (IFALPA), Vice-President of the European Cockpit Association (ECA) and from 2016 until his death, Dean of the Official College of Commercial Aviation Pilots (COPAC). His legacy in favour of the pilot profession and the improvement of the service provided to society is remembered by all his colleagues. From now on, his figure will also be linked to the new generations of pilots through the Carlos Salas Scholarships.