As the current generation of aviation professionals approach retirement, the need for skilled aviation personnel is increasing. Due to advancing technology, today’s pilots need a wider scope of knowledge and sophisticated skills to exceed in the business.
According to the Boeing Long-Term Market Forecast, the global aviation industry will need to hire more than 2 million aviation professionals by the year 2035 to keep up with the demand for air transportation. Simply put, the world needs more pilots.
In recognition of the high demand and low supply of pilots, the aviation industry is taking steps to reduce the talent gap. The industry usually recruits and hires personnel from traditional talent suppliers like universities, technical training providers and the military, but has recently felt the strain of a smaller talent pool due to supply and competition. Likewise, potential employees often need retraining once they enter the workforce, which can put a strain on their employers.
To combat this problem, the aviation industry is attempting to bridge the gap between academic institutions, corporate training, and the industry. Corporate airlines like Boeing, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines are investing more capital in internal education and training. By focusing on in-house education, these organizations hope to foster leadership, creative-thinking and problem-solving skills in their employees. These “corporate universities” are also partnering with traditional universities to recruit, educate, and train the next generation of pilots.
In addition, aviation groups such as GAMA, AOPA, and EAA are looking for and promoting ways to make aviation careers more affordable to attain. Lower cost flight schools, easier access to training aircraft, and more thorough safety education are all areas being pursued. Ultimately, while the aviation industry faces the challenge of hiring and retaining talent in the changing economy, it’s facilitating a rewarding career path for many aspiring aviators.
Simply put: there’s no better time to be a pilot. So if you’ve put off turning your passion for aviation into a career, it may be time to check out your options.