Business Aviation News: Retaining Top Talent

A very interesting and open article appeared on the Aviation Week Network regarding pilot retention and recruitment.

In his article, Fred George, writes that here’s a pilot-staffing crunch coming to business aviation that could have a severe impact on safety of flight.

Below are a few excerpts from the article.

"Passenger and freight air carriers are sucking up top talent from business and charter flight departments, among other industry sectors, at the fastest rate in a half century. Many of the best business aviation pilots are leaving the sector for the airlines because of higher pay, more predictable work schedules and better quality of life, say members of the Aviation Directors Roundtable (ADR), among others."

"U.S. airlines will hire more than 5,300 pilots this year, according to Future & Active Pilot Advisors (FAPA) of Henderson, Nevada. This is up 23% from 2017, in large part due to the waves of commercial airline pilots reaching 65 years, the mandatory retirement age, as well as the surge in passenger and freight traffic. Boeing predicts that 600,000 new airline pilots will be needed globally during the next two decades."

"Money remains a key issue for pilots deciding between careers in business aviation or the airlines. FAPA predicts a U.S. commercial airline pilot will earn up to $10 million during a 40-year career, up significantly from predictions a decade ago. Some major air carriers are interviewing pilots with as few as 3,000 hr. in their logbooks. Regionals often settle for pilots with newly minted ATPs with 1,500 hr. or less total flight time."

"Business aviation is at a crossroads regarding pilot shortages. It can choose to maintain its historic stasis and hope that skilled, experienced and knowledgeable pilots naturally will migrate to the sector. Or, it can embrace the airlines’ proactive outreach methods, marketing to new talent at aviation events, trade fairs and college campuses. Business aviation has attractions for some younger pilots, including a less-intense workload, fewer nights away from home and more personal connections with passengers. But it also must address large gaps in pay and benefits between business aviation and the airlines. And it needs to examine its historic reluctance to embrace workforce diversity."


Click here to read the full article.

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