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 Guild 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 Guild 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 Guild is to help set and maintain standards of conduct among flying people.
The Guild 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 doesn’t 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 Guild 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.
The Guild’s constitutionally stated objectives are:
to establish and maintain the highest standards of air safety through the promotion of good airmanship among pilots and navigators.
to maintain a liaison with all authorities connected with licensing, training and legislation affecting pilot or navigator whether private, professional, civil or military.
to constitute a body of experienced airmen available for advice and consultation and to facilitate the exchange of information.
to strive to enhance the status of air pilots and air navigators.
to assist air pilots and air navigators in need through the Benevolent Fund