Young pilot to run new flight academy

Lord John Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, left, and Ben Harrison, chief executive of the North East Flight Academy.
Lord John Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, left, and Ben Harrison, chief executive of the North East Flight Academy.

A Whitley Bay pilot is one half of a partnership that has launched a new in-flight training school.

Ben Harrison, 25, will run the North East Flight Academy as full-time chief executive.

It has been financed by Lord John Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, Northumberland. A keen pilot himself, he is following in the footsteps of his father Steve, also known as CJ, who was the chairman and managing director of BKS Air Transport – the UK’s oldest and largest domestic carrier that flew charters and freight since 1953 and then became part of British Airways in 1973.

As well as Ben, who initially trained at Northumbria Flying School and then completed his advanced pilot instructor course at Dundee Tayside Aviation, the business has appointed seven instructors, two of which are former airline captains.

The North East Flight Academy will offer professional one-to-one flight training tailored around each individual student, whether they wish to fly for pleasure or become a fully qualified pilot.

Lord Stevens said: “It is with my father in mind, and my personal passion for flying and operating aircraft, that I have invested so wholeheartedly in this venture and am continuing with my father’s legacy.

“I am proud to partner with Ben – at such a young age he has already shown such commitment and skill to this career. I am sure he will make this an incredibly successful business.”

The academy gained support from Robson Laidler accountants in Jesmond. For more information about it, call 0191 5806550.