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Hiring pilots during a shortage

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The international aviation community is experiencing a shortage of qualified pilots (Boeing Commercial Airplanes, 2012). Air carriers want to hire the most qualified pilots available, but the number of applicants may be so small that not enough pilots can be hired to meet the company’s flying requirements. Air carriers can change their hiring process in a number of ways to deal with the shortage. Two types of changes are common during the two major parts of a pilot hiring process: the screening system and the selection system. Those changes are: Air carriers often reduce the required amount of a background variable to increase the number of applicants. Air carriers will lower the cutoff score on one or more of the standardized tests that assess abilities to increase the number of applicants who successfully complete the selection process. Both changes have a direct consequence to air carriers: and increase training costs.

Those costs come from more resources to complete initial training, scheduling extra simulator sessions, providing special tutoring, allowing the student to retake exams, etc. These types of efforts waste more resources and further increase training costs. And all previous is because young people don’t aspire to be airline pilots. A short time ago, kids admire professional pilots and longed for the chance to fly with all the responsibilities and privileges that came with this occupation. But nowadays the glamour and appeal of being an airline pilot seems to be lost on young people. They feel becoming a pilot is just another job option.

They read about the turmoil in the industry, the frustrated passengers, bankruptcies and layoffs, as well as the changing compensation and benefits packages, and it has the effect of stalling them on the runway. With the increasing regulatory requirements and training cost associated with becoming a pilot (barriers that other careers don’t have) it is easy to understand why there isn’t the same desire to become an airline pilot that there once was. Aircraft manufacturers estimate that 460,000 new pilots will be needed worldwide between now and 2031 as global economies expand and airlines take deliveries of new commercial aircraft. No less than 69,000 new pilots will be needed in the United States alone.

Table 1. Source icao
A pilot shortage will exist for the foreseeable future, and air carriers must adapt to this reality. The long-term solution to this problem is evident: interest large numbers of young people in an aviation career, preferably while they are in secondary school, and provide a clear career path for them. Global Market Situation

Aviation industry is about to face a tremendous challenge with regard to the supply of talent. Driven from the recovery of the global economy, particularly the expansion of the middle class in Asia, the number of passengers and amount of cargo is growing and is expected to grow faster as each year unfolds. Statistics are proving this trend. According to a recent IATA press release, international air travel rose 5.5% in January year over year, while capacity climbed 4.2%, resulting in a load factor of 76.6%, up from 75.7% last year, with emerging markets posting the highest growth. The impact of Chinese New Year-related traffic was evidenced in China’s domestic market, which surged 16.8% year over year on a 14.3% lift in capacity, pushing load factor to 80.8%, the highest recorded for domestic traffic.

In addition, Middle East airlines recorded double-digit traffic growth in January, posting a 14.5% increase. With these increases come a big demand to increase human capital resources in all areas of the aviation industry with specific needs in both pilots and technical expertise as emerging markets show demand for such skills. Already, the industry has started to prepare for this growth by upgrading and expanding fleet networks. To that point, Boeing forecasts that their fleet will grow from about 19,400 planes in 2010 to more than 39,500 by 20301.

During the same timeframe, Airbus foresees the need for more than 26,900 passenger airliners with seating capacities of 100 seats and above, along with over 900 new factory built freighter aircraft. As such, it is expected that the world’s overall passenger aircraft inventory will more than double by 2030, prompting the demand for more human capital within the industry. In addition, countries around the globe are expanding their aviation infrastructures to support this growth, building new airports and terminals in a variety of locations around the world.

Table 2. Source icao
Academies Reputation
All the following data referred to aviation schools has been obtained from the Garofaly Report. On it are analyzed 243 aviation schools from different countries of Europe. Some of the conclusions reached on it are shown below.
Figure SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1. Garofaly ranking of european aviation schools bya the collaborating institudes criteria

Figure 2. Garofaly ranking of european aviation schools bya the methodology in the integrated course criteria Some other evaluation criteria are analyzed during the report. The final conclusion is that commercial aeronautical training in Europe has had a very positive development, with a high developed training base, which has a varied and interesting offer. Commercial Pilot Salary

As an example are shown, pilots salaries in average from different companies by mid 2012: For Iberia 207,000 € / gross, equivalent to 13,000 € tax-free monthly; in British Airways the average monthly salary is 10,000 € net, Arabic and Chinese companies, establish a salary of 15,000 € net per month. In many of these A pilot of a low-cost airline like Ryanair gets an average monthly net salary of 6,000 €, Air Europa has established a net monthly salary of 4,000 €. Naysa salary is 3,500 € net

Binter Canarias whose monthly salary is 6,000 € net.
Iberia Express executives have set a monthly salary of 6,000 € net for a captain who flies 850 hours annually and 18 flight days per month; whereas a co-pilot working the same terms of hours of flight and days, gets 2,700 € per month net.

Chart SEQ Chart * ARABIC 2. Upward trend of salaries or airlines pilots in terms of the different airlines and the profesional category of the pilot Technological Aspects
Unmanned Aircraft Systems
With all the possible applications for unmanned aircraft, the FAA forecasts the largest near-term growth in civil/commercial unmanned operations will be in the area of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). The FAA is continuing to make a significant effort to develop the necessary regulatory framework for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems to operate. The regulatory framework will includes standards, airworthiness criteria, certification and procedures for sense and avoid systems, as well as protocols to be used for the certification of command control and communication systems in the defined flight environment. Next step in this technology could be the implantation of the unmanned aircraft system in commercial aviation, in the field of passenger transportation. In the event that this situation will become true, it will mean the total disappear of commercial pilots, and hence the disappearance of our business.

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