APG Radio 002 – The Demand for Pilots

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demand for pilots

by Captain David Santo

Enjoying a beautiful day in San Francisco CA watching the Blue Angles perform for fleet week. Very cool show…

With over 30 years of flying experience under my belt I’m still passionate about airplanes and the art of flying them.

It’s a passion I’ve endeavored to share with others. This may be why I’ve always been drawn to flight, sim, and ground instruction. It’s my outlet for sharing.

How exciting it is to think that the airline industry is forecasting a global pilot shortage for the first time in decades. Projections call for 498,000 new airline pilots to enter the career over the next twenty years just to meet current known demand. It’s a great time to be considering this career…

The shortage of pilots has driven wages up, pilot salary is up, scheduling rules and benefits up. Some airlines, especially in Asia, are even recruiting zero time cadets to sponsor through flight training for career placement as line airline pilots.

New technology like simulators, games and software can help you learn faster, and at a lower cost.

Some people wonder whether they have the aptitude to become a great pil0t – the good news is that a Compass test or airline aptitude test can let you know if you have the skills to progress easily through training or whether it might be a struggle for you.  If a test indicates that you may need to brush up on a few subjects before beginning commercial pilot training.

For many, the cost for pilot training can be a barrier.  That’s true of any profession – to be a doctor, lawyer, pharmacist or other professional, there is a requirement for a university degree or professional training.  For many generations, people have struggled with that reality and found ways to achieve their dreams. many people wonder how many years of training to become a pil0t – the answer is, it depends on the situation, but in some cases the pilot career path can go from first lesson to first officer in less than one year!

The hurdle is rapidly becoming how do we get enough pilots through commercial airline training, including ATP training (for those in the United States)  fast enough to meet the need?


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