Mon, Jul 16, 2012
Concerns That New Pilots Flying Airliners May Not Be Adequately Trained
In a sweeping forecast at Farnborough last week, Boeing officials warned of a coming worldwide pilot shortage ... saying airlines will need nearly half a million new pilots over the next 20 years, including 69,000 in North America alone. The Aisa-Pacific region will need even more pilots, the planemaker said, with some 185,600 slots to fill. The company also predicts a great need for mechanics and other technicians.
All of that has lawmakers in Washington, and likely in other regions of the world, a little itchy. Industry officials are also looking warily at the big numbers. Speaking at a conference sponsored by ALPA Thursday, Boeing's chief of pilot services Carl Davis said that as airlines buy airplanes, they often come to Boeing to say they are having a hard time finding qualified pilots to fly them, and "can you help us?"
Regulators, too, have concerns that the climbing demand for pilots coupled with more stringent rules regarding experience in the cockpit set to come online next year will deepen the shortage domestically, according to a report in the Washington Post. John Allen, the FAA's director of flight services, told the Associated Press that the scenario raises safety implications.
Allen said that some airlines might hire pilots who have the right qualifications on paper, but may not have the aptitude to command an airliner. "Not everybody is supposed to be a pilot," he said.
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