2 pilots at controls

Sept. 29, 2017

As the business aviation community looks to the future, it is increasingly clear that a series of trends – including demographic shifts, evolving experience requirements, and employees’ workplace and career expectations – could potentially impact the size and nature of the industry’s workforce in the years to come.

Against this backdrop, NBAA recently conducted a survey of more than 1,300 pilots, with the aim of determining root causes of workforce development and retention challenges, as well as ways to address those challenges.

The survey was administered this summer by NBAA’s Business Aviation Management Committee, and its results will be unveiled on Oct. 10 at the association’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) as part of a solutions-focused, interactive panel titled “All Hands on Deck: Confronting the Personnel Shortage.” In addition to providing an overview of the survey results, the session will offer guidance on how business aviation can compete with other industries when hiring young professionals, as well as strategies for retaining the industry’s existing talent.

On Oct. 11, a complementary panel titled “The Future Business Aviation Workforce: A Diverse Perspective” will highlight ways that diversifying the workforce can help employers attract high-caliber professionals. The speakers will also explore international hiring practices as a solution to filling the talent pipeline.

Both the “Diverse Perspective” and “All Hands on Deck” sessions are sponsored by Business Aviation Insider, the official magazine of NBAA, and will be moderated by Managing Editor Robert A. Searles. NBAA will incorporate audience feedback and lessons learned from the panels into its January/Febraury 2018 workforce-themed issue of the magazine.

Other workplace-oriented events at NBAA-BACE will focus on developing young talent already working in business aviation.

On Oct. 10, “Generation Next: Developing Future Aviation Leaders,” will show attendees how mentoring programs can engage talented professionals and lead to better employee retention. Presenters will share real-life experiences with mentorship programs and provide attendees with tips on starting a mentoring program in their own organizations.

Later that evening, young professionals attending NBAA-BACE will have an opportunity to discuss career paths with each other and industry veterans at the Young Professionals in Business Aviation (YoPro) Networking Reception.

Finally, on Oct. 12, Careers in Business Aviation Day will inform middle school, high school and college students about the career opportunities in business aviation. The event will open with a keynote presentation by Shaesta Waiz of Dreams Soar, whose story of going from a refugee camp to the first civilian female pilot from Afghanistan inspired thousands of young people during her solo flight around the world. Attendees will also have an opportunity to speak with business aviation leaders and visit the NBAA-BACE static display.

“The industry is already feeling the personnel shift as older leaders retire,” said Sierra Grimes, NBAA’s manager of registration and staff liaison to the YoPro Council. “The YoPro Networking Reception and Careers in Business Aviation Day are important opportunities for current leaders to share knowledge with future leaders of our industry and open communication between generations.”

View the full 2017 NBAA-BACE program schedule.