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A pilot shortage?

by Richard Nicholl Head of Conferences

The past five years have seen a significant reduction in the number of new, well-selected airline pilot training enrolees globally against a backdrop of an escalating demand for pilots from both expanding and new entrant airlines. Supply and demand curves simply don’t match; it’s ‘crunch time’ and actions need to be taken urgently to improve the appeal, affordability and access to the career of professional flying.

Examples to illustrate this rapidly growing problem are frequently cancelled flights, significant airline pilot ‘churn’ and even an airline filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection – all citing pilot shortage as the primary reason.

As the old saying goes “necessity is the mother of invention’ and airline training management in partnership with the pilot training industry is waking-up to the need to create long-overdue and creative solutions designed to address rapidly this very significant and escalating challenge.

That’s why the Royal Aeronautical Society is running an International Flight Crew Training Conference on 27th and 28th of September 2016.

Why should you attend and what do we aim to cover?

– Examine in more detail some of the influencing factors behind the pilot shortage – through speakers from airline recruitment teams, training organisations and aviation regulators.

– Discuss the profession and training of airline pilot in more detail through the eyes of aspiring pilots, current trainee pilots and current pilots to better understand the considerable investment and challenges that they have faced in terms of both choosing and accessing the flying profession.

– Explore the various ‘pathways’ to becoming an airline pilot and how training programme design coupled with changes in aviation regulations has either helped or hindered the process of improving global pilot training and supply.

– llustrate how the profession of airline pilot is seen in the global career market, how aspiring pilots are selected, funded and supported during training with a comparison made against other competing professions and how they have resolved and broadened diversity to resolve supply issues.

– Understand how airlines globally in cooperation the training industry have now started to address the problem through the creation of new and innovative career programmes to try and reverse the trend and solve both the immediate and longer-term supply problem before matters get to an even greater crisis proportion.

– Generate ‘live’ debate with the conference audience to share ideas, solutions and identity new and imaginative ways to encourage more interest in aviation professions and improve the volume, diversity and quality of new, aspiring entrants into our profession.