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Boeing: Demand for pilots increasingBoeing: Demand for pilots increasing

Boeing Flight Services Vice President Sherry Carbary said flight schools large and small will have a role to play as worldwide demand for pilots (along with technicians and cabin crews) ramps up steeply in the coming two decades, as long as they embrace technology.
Image courtesy of Boeing

A century, nearly to the day, after William Boeing launched an aviation company that would grow into a world leader, the company is predicting a bright future for the industry—and for pilots looking to make a career of it. Emerging global economies and a growing middle class eager to travel are fueling “extraordinary” demand for aircraft, and for trained crews to fly them.

The Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook, released days before EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, forecasts demand for 617,000 new pilots over the coming 20 years, an increase of about 11 percent over the 2015 edition of the annual forecast, Carbary noted. Forecast demand for technicians increased by the same amount over the 2015 outlook, and "we’ve got to get started, got to make sure we’ve got that pipeline full," Carbary said.

Boeing Fight Services has expanded its worldwide training operation to 15 campuses, including a new center just opened in Moscow, and the company is also supporting a range of other programs aimed at promoting education in science, technology, engineering, and math for high school students at each of the Boeing campuses.

Carbary said that even with universities and pilot academies churning out airline pilot candidates, small independent flight schools at general aviation airports can play an important role in filling the pilot pipeline.

“What’s going to be important for the mom and pops is that they invest in technology,” Carbary said. That means more than simulators. Carbary said Boeing uses sophisticated software to track each student’s progress in detail through all phases of training. Such a system helps fine-tune an individual pilot’s training, and validate it for future employers. “If they can make that investment, we’re going to need all the flight schools we can get.”

Boeing Flight Services and its airline partners put candidates through an extensive screening process to ensure those who are accepted have the motor skills and other attributes needed to succeed in the cockpit, and that “leads to a high success rate,” Carbary said. In one recent case, that rate was 100 percent.

Jim Moore

Jim Moore

Editor-Web Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot, as well as a certificated remote pilot, who enjoys competition aerobatics and flying drones.
Topics: EAA AirVenture, Pilots

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