240,000 Civil Aviation Personal Needed Over Next 20 Years
With the Chinese civil aviation industry developing at a pace
double that of the world average, China is facing greater shortages
of pilots, crew members, and maintenance personnel, according to a
report from China Academy of Personnel Science.
While the world average ratio of personnel to aircraft stands at
100:1, in China that ratio is only 200:1. Talk about job
"China's civil aviation industry will need 10,000 pilots by
2010," according to Yu Renlu of the General Administration of Civil
Aviation of China (CAAC).
Currently, 90 percent of China's pilots come from the
Sichuan-based Civil Aviation Flight University of China (CAFUC),
which recruits more than 1,000 students each year, and who graduate
with a pilot license and a bachelor's degree, reports Xinhua.
CAFUC has trained more than 10,000 pilots and a great number of
senior engineers and technicians for China.
Based in Guanghan, Southwest China's Sichuan Province, CAFUC is
the largest of the country's three pilot training schools. It has
four branches and operates two air terminals in six cities
throughout Sichuan and Central China's Henan Province. About 95
percent of all Chinese commercial pilots graduate from CAFUC,
reports China Daily.
Needless to say, the university has played a significant role in
the explosive growth of the domestic aviation industry.
"Our school doubled admission to 1,400 students this year and
expects to further increase intake over the next several years,"
said Gong Jianyu, director of CAFUC's foreign affairs office.
In the meantime, CAFUC is upgrading its training equipment,
particularly new flight simulators, to familiarize its cadets with
the latest in aviation technology.
CAFUC is indeed massive, reported Newsweek, with facilities that
include five airports and a fleet of more than 100 planes.
"Seeing the whole university would take you weeks," boasted
school Chancellor Zheng Xiaoyong. The staff has grown from a few
hundred in the 1970s to 3,000. The school continues to combine
pilot training and general studies in one four- or five-year
Demand for pilots will continue to be huge. Gong Jianyu,
director of CAFUC's foreign affairs office, said that it costs on
average $124,000 to train a co-pilot for a Boeing 737, the most
popular aircraft in China. This, he said, is likely to stretch
facilities to the limit over the coming years.
With that investment in training, pilots are often required to
sign long-term contracts with the Chinese airline that has paid for
However, in recent years, an increasing number of lawsuits have
been reported between domestic airlines and pilots who want to
leave their jobs to work for foreign or privately-owned airlines
that offer higher salaries.
Said Yu Renlu, an official with the General CAAC, to meet the
demand for new pilots, CAFUC should enroll more students and find
alternative ways to pay for their training.
He offered that in the future, pilots should pay for their own
training, which would allow them to choose the airline for which
they want to work following graduation.
According to Boeing, Chinese airlines are expected to buy up to
2,600 aircraft worth a combined $213 billion in phases over the
next 20 years. Airbus predicts market demand for 1,790 aircraft
over the same period.