Business Aviation Companies Fly Ahead of Looming Pilot Shortage
Faced with an aviation pilot shortage and reduction in technical professionals in the near future, the aviation industry isn’t sitting on the ground. It’s going wheels-up for the future.
A recently published report by the Boeing o. stated that over the next 20 years, “804,000 new civilian aviation pilots, 769,000 new maintenance technicians and 914,000 new cabin crew will be needed to fly and maintain the world fleet… The forecast is inclusive of the commercial aviation, business aviation and civil helicopter industries.”
“We call it a ‘talent gap,’” said Sheryl Barden, president and CEO of San Francisco-based Aviation Personnel International, which helps corporations and high-net-worth individuals find permanent professionals to fly, maintain and protect the value of their business aviation assets.
“Everyone is competing for a finite amount of talent and trying to hold onto the talent they have,” Barden added. “The problem is, we can’t make aa pilot overnight. We can’t make one that fits the requirements in a year or two.”
To retain existing aviation staff, business owners are offering higher compensation and better benefits packages, including increases to 401(k) contributions. Barden estimated that pilot compensation has increased in “double-digit percentages” over the last three years. Some companies are increasing pilot head count, which allows for flex-time and time off for regular staff.
By Doug DeLoach,Contributing Writer, Atlanta Business Chronicle