Five things you didn’t know about the Pilot Shortage

1. The United States and the rest of the world are facing a serious shortage of airline pilots.

The national security of the United States as an aviation leader depends on a healthy aviation industry. This requires modern, reliable aircraft and highly trained pilots. However, the United States, like the rest of the world, is experiencing a shortage of pilots today, especially on Regional Airlines.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), there were about 827,000 Pilots in the United States in 1987. In the last three decades, that number has decreased by 30%.

Also, during this period there has been a tremendous increase in demand for air travel. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts that air travel will double in the next 20 years.

This is a classic case of low supply and high demand. This mismatch has created a perfect storm that could wreak havoc on the U.S. Air Industry and the rest of the world over the next decade. The bad news is that this shortage will get worse.

2. Changes in the Industry.

In the 1970s, when most airline pilots were growing up, flying for an airline was considered a prestigious career.

The job not only offered high wages and good hours with many days off, but also a respected position in society. By the early 1990s, pilot salaries were approaching today’s $300,000 for some International Pilots.

Also, during this time, the military had a constant demand for Pilots. A young aspiring aviator could go to the Army for all his flying training. Once these Pilots fulfilled their military commitment, they were almost guaranteed a good job flying for a major airline.

3. Fewer New Pilots.

Meanwhile, the number of pilots supplied by the military has decreased. Much of this is due to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles.

In the 1980s, about two-thirds of the Airline Pilots were former military. Recently, that percentage has dropped to less than a third. The U.S. Navy predicts a 10 percent shortage of Pilots by 2020, while the U.S. Air Force predicts its own shortage of 1,000 Pilots by 2022. This means that many young aspiring Aviators now have to pay for their own flight training.

In 2009, the U.S. Congress changed the mandatory retirement age for Airline Pilots from 60 to 65. In our opinion, this did not solve the problem, but simply pushed the problem into the future. A 2016 report from Boeing Company shows that 42% of Pilots currently flying for major airlines in the United States will reach their mandatory retirement age of 65 in the next 10 years.

“Following the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 near Buffalo City in New York State in 2009, the U.S. Congress changed the experience requirements for Airline Pilots. New hires must now have a Certificate that requires a minimum of 1,500 flight hours. Before this law was passed, Pilots could fly for an airline with a minimum of 250 flight hours.”

4. Increasing demand.

The other side of the shortage problem is that the demand for well-trained Pilots is actually increasing. The greatest demand is in the Asia-Pacific Regions.

Manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus are delivering more and more aircraft and plan to continue to do so for the next 20 years.

Major U.S. airlines are not yet feeling the shortage of pilots directly. But the smaller Regional Airlines do. Their schedules have been cut and some, like Republic, have been forced into bankruptcy due to a lack of pilot personnel.

5. Change of Laws and Regulations.

The U.S. Congress also changed the rules on time of service in 2010, to reduce the problems of pilot fatigue. This change meant that Airlines had to increase their Pilot Staff from 5 to 8% to cover the same schedule. In other words, they need to hire even more qualified pilots.

The industry has taken some steps to address this problem. Regional Airlines now offer a much higher salary and even add hiring bonuses.

In addition, there have been some minor modifications to the 1,500 hour rule. Pilots can now receive their Certificate with less than 1,500 hours if training is conducted at certain Flight Schools. There is even talk of extending the retirement age again to 67.

But the pace of training for new pilots is slowing down. SimPilot Inc. has started a Global Promotion Initiative for the Pilot Training Industry, with the goal of graduating one million pilots in two decades.


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Monitoring your Flight Proficiency (MFP)

Unfortunately, there is an abundance of evidence showing an inadequate lack of skills proficiency in today’s pilots.
Pilots are not exercising the same duties all the time and are hardly flying the same procedures, as for example IFR recurrency, it is a significant problem in the air transport industry. Simpilot monitors your flight proficiency progress by making available the use of FAA approved flight simulators. Any time that a particular endorsement check or recurrent proficiency deadline is approaching, our MFP program will begin to send you reminders by text and/or email to fulfill that requirement.

Job placement Program

Job Placement is a free service that Simpilot offers to its pilot members to find employment. Simpilot works with several large and small domestic, international airlines, and aviation companies, for whom they screen and place pilots for both temporary and permanent positions. This type of assistance usually includes a combination of career counseling and skills assessment, along with guidance on writing a resume, drafting a cover letter, and filling out a job application. After that step is completed, then we can help the pilots to find appropriate available positions and prepare them for their interviews.

Building Flight Time Assistance Program

Building flight time is important, especially if you are working towards a career as a professional pilot. There are few creative ideas that will help you build flight time hours: becoming a Flight Instructor, volunteering for a charitable cause or train for a new endorsement or rating, and becoming a member of the “Simpilot Flying Club”, which is an organization developed with aircraft owners in mind, who hardly ever fly their airplanes and are willing to rent them at a low cost, being this option the one that saves you more time and money. We created this program in response to the recent increase of the flight time experience requirements needed to obtain your airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate.

Promote and re-enforce safety.

To keep pilots safe while flying, “safety always comes first“.
Aviation welfare is especially important because there are lives involved in every operation of the aircraft. Safety must be the number one priority for every pilot in all aspects of their flight. We at
Simpilot, provide information on new safety risk control and corrective actions as well as the newly amended safety procedures. Through simulation, we promote a positive safety culture and encourage pilots to always maintain awareness of safety.

Personalize Guidance and Orientation

Our Pilot Orientation Plan has been designed to be simple and affordable for future students who would take the first steps towards acquiring their Private Pilot License, on their way to becoming Commercial Pilots. Simpilot’s new method of flight training using simulation, gathers all the necessary and important factors that simplify while at the same time accelerate the learning and assimilation process that will be incorporated later in real life situations.


Monitoring your Flight Training

By being a member of Simpilot, we are dedicated to keep your flight training safer, smarter, and in good standings with all the aspects of becoming a well verse mindful pilot; even though, the actual flight training is provided in partnership with our flight school associates. We have ensured the efficiency of your flight training experience, by providing a high-quality professional learning environment. We can provide the tools for success, by monitoring the academic progress of our students. The first and most important tool is motivation, the second is dedication, and the third is willingness to achieve your future goals.


Become a Pilot!

Learn more about the initiative that will revolutionize the flight training industry.

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