October 06, 2023

Leading Edge Aviation Celebrates 5 Years of Turning Pilot Dreams Into Reality

Leading Edge Aviation Celebrates 5 Years of Turning Pilot Dreams Into Reality

Leading Edge Aviation proudly celebrates its 5th Anniversary on 3rd October embodying a dynamic journey of turning aspiring pilots’ dreams into reality. Over the past five years, Leading Edge has continuously pushed the boundaries to reshape how pilot training is delivered, investing in superior training facilities, utilising cutting-edge technology and innovative teaching methods to deliver world-class commercial pilot training.

Starting with just two students Leading Edge Aviation began its mission to transform commercial pilot training. Today, it stands as a fast-growing, well respected pilot training academy with 262 students currently at various stages of training. The academy’s impressive 99% pass rate is a glowing testament to the quality and effectiveness of the Leading Edge training experience.

In these remarkable five years, Leading Edge has trained 664 students, flying over 62,000 hours, with each student embarking on a transformative journey from ambitious learners to commercial pilots.

CEO Andy McFarlane reflects, “Our five-year journey is one of continuous evolution, staying ahead of the curve, and redefining pilot training. Our ongoing investment in the best facilities and cutting-edge technology has been fundamental in providing superior training. We’re not just training pilots; we’re moulding future captains who will shape the future of aviation. The recognition from airlines regarding the quality of our students is a testament to the level of training we provide, as we continue to invest in our commitment to making flying dreams a reality for many more aspiring pilots.”

To celebrate their five-year milestone Leading Edge are launching an ‘All the Fives’ promotion to help more aspiring pilots to start their journey. They are offering a £5,000 bursary to the first five students who sign up for 5 upcoming LEAP integrated courses. Full details are available on the Leading Edge website.

Key Achievements:

  • Expanding Training Operations & Capabilities: Over the last 5 years Leading Edge has made a substantial investment in an A320 simulator in September 2020, three DA42 simulators and, the establishment of a fair-weather training base in Alhama, Spain in September 2022. Demonstrating Leading Edge’s commitment to ensuring uninterrupted training and a conducive learning environment for its students.
  • Fleet Expansion: Growing to a fleet 12 x DA40, 6 x DA42 and aT67 aircraft, with 5 further DA40’s arriving this week, Leading Edge has significantly enhanced its training capacity, offering students unparalleled hands-on flight experience.
  • Technological Advancements: Continuous investment in state-of-the-art technology ensures a modernised training environment, propelling students ahead in the digital aviation landscape. Winning an award in 2021 for our Augmented Reality Experience A320 cockpit simulation, Leading Edge has established a modernised approach to training, especially supporting students during their APS MCC course. Furthermore, the launch of the VECTOR distance learning programme for remote ground school in 2022 has displayed our adaptability and commitment to leveraging technology for enhanced learning experiences.
  • Dual Licensing Initiative: Introduced in 2022, the Dual Licensing programme positioned Leading Edge as one of only two schools offering this unique opportunity at that time, broadening the horizons for our students in the global aviation arena.
  • Best-in-Class Instructors: Attracting and retaining the industry’s most seasoned instructors has been instrumental in moulding competent, confident pilots ready for the global stage. Our instructors range from current and former commercial and military pilots with a wide range of experience and backgrounds including other flying schools through to new instructors.
  • Airline Partnerships & Graduate Success: Leading Edge Aviation has continued to build strong relationships with the industry with graduates now working in over 20 leading airlines. Recently becoming a nominated provider for the British Airways Whitetail Recruitment Programme, Leading Edge continues to open exciting avenues for its graduates within premier airlines through its industry leading Graduate Services.
  • Holistic Training Approach: Leading Edge’s “whole pilot” approach, which incorporates the core skills needed beyond flight training, has been crucial in creating well-rounded pilots equipped with all the skills to secure roles with leading airlines and become future captains.

The Leading Edge Aviation leadership team are proud to have built a successful ATO that has done things differently, built around the needs of students and creating a ‘family feel’ that all who attend Leading Edge can attest to.  With a focus on making pilot training accessible to all, Leading Edge are continuing to promote diversity with 17% of students being female and growing numbers of students from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The unique tradition of issuing “lucky pants” to students entering the Instrument Rating stage has added a humorous yet confidence building element to their rigorous training and reflects the fun side of the organisation.


Media Enquiries


Head of Marketing

07545 315207
Get in touch with Maria

More about Leading Edge Aviation
Leading Edge Aviation is a rapidly expanding pilot training academy with a fresh approach and an emphasis on holistic training. Offering the highest standards of regulatory technical training, students also benefit from a comprehensive professional and personal development curriculum to enhance non-technical skills.

Leading Edge delivers modular (including Ground School, MECPL, CBIR, MEIR, uMAP (university Modular Airline Preparation), A-UPRT (Advanced Upset Prevention Recovery Training), APC MCC (Airline Pilot Standards Multi Crew Co-operation), LEAP (Leading Edge Airline Preparation) course; a full-time integrated course with BSc degree and a comprehensive graduate airline selection preparation workshop.

Based at London Oxford Airport, Leading Edge students receive wellbeing support, along with the most advanced learning aids. Virtual and mixed reality tech, and neuro training techniques are used to embed and refine new knowledge and skills, creating pilots who enter the industry airline ready, with strong leadership skills.

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