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Chief Operating Officer, Skyborne Airline Academy

Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and former airline pilot with 20 years experience in the airline and training fields. 

The co-founder and COO of Skyborne, Ian Cooper is responsible for overseeing all aspects of our operations and is the Accountable Manager.

As a former pilot for Monarch and British Airways, Ian has first-hand industry experience to accompany his director-level roles at training academies Airways Aviation and CAE, including the oversight and operation of Integrated, Modular and MPL training programmes around the world involving numerous regulators. Ian brings a wealth of unrivalled experience to the role.

Ian is dedicated to ensuring we deliver excellence across all fields of our operations, whilst at the same time ensuring safety is the key priority.


Resilient and Innovative – The Class of 2020

Covid-19 has presented major challenges to the aviation industry, but it has also provided opportunities for pilot training professionals to incorporate new technologies, explore exciting prospects for their graduates and think hard about how they can drive change for the future.  

In this presentation, Ian Cooper will discuss how Skyborne Airline Academy pivoted to virtual learning for its Integrated and Modular ATPL programmes during the UK lockdown and the lessons learnt from the experience. While Ian believes remote learning won’t ever truly replace face-to-face course delivery, he will explain how the last few months have demonstrated the benefits of a complimentary approach.

Resilience is the most valuable personality trait that the class of 2020 will graduate with, but Ian will also argue that ATOs have a duty to keep their cadets both motivated to join the industry, and supported to maintain their currency, preventing skill fade.

In the event of delays to airline placement due to Covid-19, ATOs and graduates have the option to explore traditional alternatives such as flight instruction, but they can also be more innovative – carving out new roles in emerging industries such as UAVs. In addition, by incorporating higher education alongside their pilot training, cadets will enter the industry with additional academic and business skills to distinguish themselves from their peers.

Finally, Ian will argue that the pandemic provides a chance for the pilot training industry to look at how it can reduce its impact on the world. Electric aviation is an emerging movement and one that will ensure that each ATO can play their part in reducing global carbon emissions.