Monday, February 10, 2020

Will There Be A Global Pilot Shortage?

With air travel demand expected to more than double during the next 20 years, are the powers-that-be of the global civil aviation industry doing their part to avert this looming problem?

By: Ringo Bones

During the 2019 Paris Air Show, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg stated that a growing shortage of pilots represented “one of the biggest challenges” facing the airline industry. In February 10, 2020 the BBC ran a news story on the ever increasing demand for air travel is growing so rapidly that by the year 2038 that 804,000 new pilots are expected to be needed. The biggest need will be in the Asia-Pacific region where a projected “improving economy” of Mainland China will result in more people booking flights compared to recent years. More people in the United States will be expected to fly during the next two decades, but unfortunately, the U.S. will be experiencing a pilot shortage in 2020 as experienced pilots are reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65. But how do we solve the problem of pilot shortage during the next 20 years?

In the Philippines, college-age students have opted to pursue medical courses – mostly as nurses to work in the United States – because they can earn money to pay their college debt much sooner if they’d pursue a career on civil aviation. Maybe Boeing and Airbus should offer scholarships to worthy but financially impoverished potential pilots here in the Asia-Pacific region?

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