Boeing, the Chicago based airplane manufacturer, is forecasting a huge need of nearly 500,000 new qualified pilots by 2032. They stated on August 29th that the current pilot supply, and growth, will not keep with the growth or airplane orders of the airlines and that this need for new pilots is unprecedented. Nearly 25,000 pilots will need to be hired every year for the next 20 years to keep track with the worlds demand.
Factors for New Hiring Demand
As anything else, there are numerous reasons for the increased requirements for more pilots. Retirement being one of the best indicators, when retirement is mandated it is easy to forecast who will be retiring and when. The FAA mandates a pilot retire at the age of 65 years old and this requirement is causing thousands of pilots to retire very soon. New training requirements are going into effect nation wide as well, this new requirement is mandating all pilots to have a minimum of 1500 total hours compared to the previous 250 hours that was previously required for first officers. Rest period requirements have increased as well, mandatory pilot rest period is now 10 hours, which is an increase of 2 hours, this also includes they have the ability to get at a minimum 8 hours of sleep on their off time. This new requirement means more pilots will need to be at the ready for the decrease in availability of the currently employed aviators.
All regions around the world will feel the effects of this pilot shortage, with Europe feeling them the least. Even though Europe can expect a need of 99,700 new pilots that number still represents a decline in their total expected demand, reports USA Today. North America can expect to need an additional 87,5oo new pilots and Asia is needing 192,300 pilots. Pilot training in Asia is also in question, mainly because of the recent crash of Asiana flight 214 in San Fransisco.
So, how will this shortage help pilot compensation? Well, the laws of supply and demand will dictate a nice rise in average pay. Airlines will be competing for qualified captains and first officers and the airlines with the best equipment, pay and benefit packages will be the ones to receive the most resumes. This is welcomed news to not only the flight schools and aeronautical universities around the world, but also the furloughed pilots out there. There has been quite the decline in pay and total number of pilots since the early 2000’s. The lagging global economy has not helped things either, but now that we are seeing a bit of a recovery, travel is on the rise and demand is showing very healthy growth.