In an address in 1970, the then Grand Master, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, described the Guild as follows:
“It is a body of people interested in every kind of flying; whether it’s light aircraft for pleasure or sport, whether it’s commercial, passenger or service; and who want to talk about flying and improve the techniques of flying and of airmanship.”
Of course, other bodies exist to look after the different divisions of aviation but the Company exists to bring all pilots and navigators together whatever division they be in. It’s more than a club because it has a more serious purpose.
The Company is concerned with every technical aspect of flying from safety to navigational aids from airport facilities to training methods and in particular with new developments in aircraft and their handling. It is a unique organisation, as its membership is restricted to qualified pilots and navigators and therefore it can truly claim to bring together the views and ideas of people who control aircraft in the air. Perhaps, the most important function of the Company is to help set and maintain standards of conduct among flying people.
The Company is not intended to be a lobby or pressure group and it does not function in the same way as the Airline Pilots Associations. However that does not mean that it will never offer considered advice if it thinks it necessary, and of course it is always ready to offer an opinion if asked for.
For many members the particular strength and attraction of the Company is its diverse spread of members and interests, together with an entirely non-political outlook and a constitution which forbids it from engaging in trade union activity.
To enable and encourage those who are or have qualified previously as air pilots and air navigators to join together and co-operate by becoming Liverymen and Freemen of the Company particularly to constitute a body of experienced aviators available to give advice and support to Her Majesty’s Government in Australia and Her Armed Forces, and other organisations and individuals as the case may be on aviation matters.
To raise the level of knowledge and proficiency of those engaged in, or about to enter, aviation by promoting the highest standards of airmanship and air safety and by monitoring, maintaining, protecting, improving and advancing the interests of aviation.