Why Aren’t There Enough Airline Pilots? Part Three

I was recently invited by AOPA to give a
presentation at the Aviation Summit in long Beach California. I began by
informing the audience of aviators and guests that there was good news, that
the airline industry had turned the economic corner and the resulting
profitability meant pilots are being recruited and hired by both Regional
Airlines and Major Airlines alike.


I’ve been sharing the presentation from the Aviation Summit over the last two blog
posts. I’ve been discussing some of the reasons for the hiring scenario that is
in place today as well as taking a look at the reasons for the impending
challenges facing airline recruiters in the near future.

Those facts and figures that we have talked about to this point are contributing to
this shortage of pilots prepared to take new flying jobs for the airline
industry. This situation will begin to worsen considerably on December 13th
2012. That is when Airline Pilots who have had their retirements delayed for
five years begin to reach the age of 65 and will be forced to resign their
positions and retire. It is closely estimated that over one thousand additional
airline pilots will retire in 2013 and will set the pace of increased
retirements into the future.

In only eight years from now that forced retirement figure will be over two
thousand pilots a year. Over 38,000 Major Airline pilots will have to retire by
the year 2030 due to this retirement rule. That staggering number is in
addition to the major airline pilots who presently retire each year due to
medical issues or other personal reasons.

All of the problems we have discussed over the last few days add up to a “Perfect
Storm” for the airline industry. There clearly WILL be a pilot shortage in the
near future, and ATP is on the forefront of working with airlines to address it

ATP is efficiently training pilots to successfully obtain the ratings and
certificates required to fly for the airline industry, and doing it in the agreed upon
time frame and cost. ATP graduates soon find flying jobs in aviation and go on
to successful careers. This is reflected by the extremely low default rate on student
loans by ATP Graduates (under 1.5%) as opposed to other programs where the
default rate is 18 to 20%. ATP Graduates are flying for a living while accruing
seniority and are able to meet their obligations, while others struggle to complete their training while racking up costs.

ATP is diligently working to make sure that our Airline
Career Pilot Program
and the RJ
graduates pilots who can make the most of their new-hire training
with the airlines. For example, less than one half of one percent of the pilots
who have graduated from ATP’s Regional Jet Program has ever washed out of new
hire training.

ATP also offers guidance for aspiring pilots by having currently flying Airline
Pilots mentor them through BeAnAirlinePilot.com,
which has proven to be a valuable resource for thousands of students who have
gone on to fly in the airline industry.

In addition, Mountain State University recently announced that they will now offer
a bachelor’s
degree program
that includes ATP’s Airline Career Pilot
Program flight training. MSU Students will take advantage of ATP’s long
history of airline-style flight training at ATP Flight Schools nationwide while
tackling the academics online with MSU. This
program will bring aspiring professional pilots the absolute best value in
college education, flight training, and career opportunities.

ATP continues to lead the way in the Flight Training
Industry by finding solutions to problems faced by the “front end” of the
aviation industry. By innovating these new solutions ATP will stay ahead of a constantly
evolving industry that the airline industry always has been and will continue to be into
the future.