Worldwide demand for pilots is expected to reach an unprecedented high over the next 20 years, Boeing predicted in its annual Pilot & Technician Outlook, which says the need will be driven by the anticipated doubling of the commercial airplane fleet, record-high demand for air travel and a tighter labor supply.
Overall, 790,000 new pilots will be needed over the next 20 years — about double the current workforce, according to the report, released earlier this week. The report characterized the demand as the most significant in the nine-year history of the Outlook.
“Despite strong global air traffic growth, the aviation industry continues to face a pilot labor supply challenge, raising concern about the existence of a global pilot shortage in the near term,” said Keith Cooper, vice president of training and professional services for Boeing Global Services. “An emphasis on developing the next generation of pilots is key to help mitigate this.”
The report projected that the industry will need 622,000 new maintenance technicians over the next 20 years, down from the 648,000 forecast last year, largely because newer airplane have longer maintenance intervals than their predecessors.
Boeing’s projections also said that business aviation and civil helicopters would require a combined total of 155,000 new pilots and 132,000 new technicians in the next 20 years. The forecast called for 858,000 new cabin crewmembers for commercial airplanes and 32,000 new cabin crewmembers for business aviation.