March 15, 2019

For the first time, CAE has included business aviation in its Airline and Business Jet Pilot Demand Outlook Study, a 10-year forecast that covers pilot demand through 2028. According to CAE’s analysis, due to attrition of approximately 4 percent per year in the business aviation sector, the turnover of new jet pilots will reach almost 100 percent with a need for 40,000 new business jet pilots through 2028.

“All major market indicators remain strong and are driving solid performances in both the business and commercial market aviation segments,” said Nick Leontidis, CAE group president, civil aviation training solutions, in the study’s opening comments. “The result is an unprecedented demand for professional pilots and a new urgency to develop better pilots, faster.”

NBAA has been working to help member operators with their pilot demand issues, explained Jo Damato, CAM, NBAA’s vice president, educational strategy and workforce development. The association publishes an annual Compensation Survey to help members benchmark for a number of indicators, while the NBAA Management Guide offers best practices for adequate staffing.

“These benchmarks and best practices are critical to successful retention strategies. In addition, everyone in our industry needs to consider their self a full-time recruiter highlighting the positive aspects of a business aviation career,” Damato said.

Additionally, Damato pointed to NBAA resources that can help the next generation of pilots learn about aviation career opportunities and connect with the NBAA Young Professionals (YoPro) Council. These resources include a new Careers in Business Aviation video and a dedicated Student Edition of Business Aviation Insider magazine, both of which are which is suitable for sharing with students at local career days.

“Many solutions depend on grassroots strategies. NBAA has seven regional representatives that work closely with regional business aviation regional groups around the country to offer specific opportunities for students regarding scholarships and outreach events,” Damato said.

The 2018 CAE study stated that only 5 percent of the pilot population are women, and “tackling gender diversity would address a historic imbalance while giving operators access to a talent pool nearly twice its current size,” she said.

Of this gender imbalance, Damato added, “We as an industry need to educate parents, teachers, guidance counselors, anyone who will listen, that aviation is a career industry for everyone. Mentorship by women and men is important to encourage more women to enter our field.”

View the CAE report.