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Free career seminars for future pilotsFree career seminars for future pilots

Since June 2016, more than 1,200 students and young professionals seeking aviation careers have attended free Future Pilot Forums hosted monthly by Future & Active Pilot Advisors (FAPA), a recruitment and career advisory service for professional pilots.

Free pilot forums that explain aviation career options are held monthly and hosted by by Future & Active Pilot Advisors. Photo courtesy of Future & Active Pilot Advisors.

FAPA spokesperson Laura Arden said attendees and their families learned about career options from aviation universities, flight training schools, and regional and major airline carriers.

The company tracks airline hiring and calculated that 3,923 jobs had been filled to date. Separately, FAPA offers career fairs and a monthly Pilot Hiring Bulletin newsletter for professional members.

Louis Smith, a retired airline captain and the organization’s president, noted in 2016 an emerging shortage of professional aviators and responded by tripling the frequency of the firm’s informational sessions, previously held quarterly. He predicted the number of pilots hired by U.S. airlines in 2017 would “exceed 4,500—the highest since the year 2000.”

In recent months, regional air carriers reacted to a shortage of qualified career pilots by raising their starting pay, offering hiring bonuses, and initiating guaranteed pathways to the cockpits of partnership airlines.

Carl Davis, director of air crew operations for Boeing Global Services, estimated in July that the aviation industry would need 2.1 million professional pilots, mechanics, and crew members by 2037—numbers that have steadily risen over the past few years. He added that an early foundation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses would provide a solid foundation for those interested in aerospace or aviation careers.

AOPA recognizes the importance of growing the pilot population, and the association put several programs in place to ensure a robust future for aviators. The goal of AOPA's You Can Fly High School Initiative is to help build and sustain aviation-based STEM programs and to provide a quality workforce to the aviation industry.

The pilot informational forums close out the year with stops in Orlando, Florida, Oct. 28; Honolulu, Nov. 11; and Dallas, Dec. 9. The 2018 schedule includes stops in Anchorage, Alaska; Atlanta; Chicago; Dallas; Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, Florida; Honolulu; Las Vegas; Philadelphia; San Diego; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.

David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Financial, Pilot Training and Certification

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