Workforce shortages becoming more of a reality

The potential shortage of qualified labor in the aviation industry has been a topic of concern for some time. With the passing of each day, the reality becomes clearer and clearer.

This summer, Horizon Air canceled 6% of its flights due to pilot shortages. The Alaska Airlines subsidiary plans to hire 300 new pilots by offering new contracts, pay scales, and bonuses. According to recent article in a July 2017 Aviation Week, the airline blamed the shortages on “attrition and unprecedented Alaska Air Group growth.”

In an August 2017article in Business & Commercial Aviation, author William Garvey shares that business aviation is becoming less and less relevant, impacted greatly by workforce shortages. He points to a decreasing number of students studying STEM subjects and a shrinking supply of workers from the military.

According to an April 2017 article issued by Brink Technology, “The labor shortage has crucial economic impact. Given the simple law of supply and demand, the shortfall may raise the cost of maintenance for airlines, potentially forcing some carriers to maintain spare planes to avoid cancellations and late departures resulting from maintenance delays.”

In a 2016 study, conducted by Korn Ferry Hay Group with the support of Booz Allen Hamilton, illustrated business aviation’s future workforce shortage and the intense competition for skilled professionals. “Airlines appear more attentive to the fact that competition for highly skilled aviation professionals is likely to intensify as workforce shortages become more evident.”  

It’s more evident, than ever, that considerable attention is placed on skills development and career readiness programs to create a pipeline of future aviation industry personnel.

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