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Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation Scholarship Alliance Between Qatar and The Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas – January 8, 2024 – The Ministry of Tourism, Investments and Aviation proudly announces a groundbreaking partnership between the State of Qatar and The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, marking a significant milestone in aviation education and empowering Bahamian youth.

Through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Qatar, an alliance has been forged between Qatar Aeronautical Academy and The Bahamas Aeronautical Academy. This collaboration has culminated in the provision of two scholarships for promising Bahamians, affording them the opportunity to embark on an exciting journey toward becoming jet pilots.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Investments and Aviation, the Hon. I. Chester Cooper, expressed immense pride in this pivotal moment.

"This is a major step for women in aviation and youth in aviation," Cooper remarked. "Women pilots account for approximately 5 percent of the total jet pilots in the world. Among airlines and aviation companies, about 3 percent of the CEOs are women. Therefore, we are delighted to be able to contribute to the advancement of women in aviation.”

The recipients of these prestigious scholarships, Brittany Ford and Aysia Thurston, both epitomize the spirit of Bahamian excellence and determination.

Brittany Ford Scholarship Recipient

Brittany Ford hails from Ragged Island, attended school in Exuma at L.N. Coakley High School, ultimately graduating from Saint Andrew’s Anglican School, Exuma.

Aysia Thurston Scholarship Recipient

Aysia Thurston is an alumnus of St. Augustine’s College, Nassau.
They today began a transformative two-year program supported by Qatar.

“This initiative showcases our commitment to nurturing local talent and propelling the youth toward exceptional opportunities,” Minister Cooper continued. “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the State of Qatar for their generosity and investment in the future of Bahamian aviation and look forward to strengthening our relationship even further”.

The scholarship covers full room, board, and tuition, courtesy of Qatar, while the Department of Aviation provides airfare and a relocation allowance. Additionally, the Louise Cooper Scholarship Foundation generously contributes medical insurance coverage of $2,400 per year, per student.

The presentation, led by Minister Cooper, was joined by MOTIA Permanent Secretary Reginald Saunders and Director of Aviation Dr. Kenneth Romer, emphasizing the collaborative effort in advancing the development of existing and emerging Bahamian professionals throughout the aviation ecosystem.

This alliance between Qatar and The Bahamas stands as a testament to the enduring commitment to educational excellence and the empowerment of the next generation of aviation leaders.



The Bahamas has over 700 islands and cays, as well as 16 unique island destinations. Located only 50 miles off the coast of Florida, it offers a quick and easy way for travellers to escape their everyday. The island nation also boasts world-class fishing, diving, boating and thousands of miles of some of the earth’s most spectacular beaches for families, couples and adventurers to explore. See why It’s Better in The Bahamas at or on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram.


Danielle Bodie
General Manager, Domestic, Communications
Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation


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