The Coming U.S. Pilot Shortage Is Real
February 16, 2015
With upward of 20,000 cockpit seats expected to open up at U.S. airlines over the next seven years due to FAA-mandated age-65 retirements, the scene should be set for the pilot pipeline to work as designed: Regional pilots working for low wages finally get their chance to move quickly up to the big leagues of heavy metal and significantly higher salaries—and college and flight school graduates gain access to the right seats of regional jets. There is a major problem with this scenario, however. Too few bright-eyed students are opting for careers in the cockpit, despite the promise of readily available jobs.
The crunch is already hitting regional airlines, which are losing increasing numbers of pilots to the major carriers and are not able to fill new pilot training classes. In some cases, regionals have had to park aircraft for lack of pilots. This should be a concern beyond the aviation world, too. The impact might lead to some smaller U.S. cities losing their air service. The dearth of pilots is a problem in other parts of the world, too, though the causes and potential cures will vary by country and region.
For more information: http://aviationweek.com/commercial-aviation/coming-us-pilot-shortage-real