May 8, 2023

At a time when the aviation industry is facing a shortage of pilots and other employees, NBAA is making a concerted effort to recruit students into a business aviation career path.

Association staff members and volunteers are taking part in events throughout the country to highlight all the industry has to offer.

“It’s important for NBAA to be at these types of events because it ensures that business aviation is present in the conversation when students are thinking about their futures. For most people, if they are going to interact with aviation it is going to be with the airline industry, so when students start thinking about potential career paths, that is likely the piece of the aviation industry most familiar to them,” said NBAA Professional Development Specialist Elayna Hall, who recently attended a career fair at the University of North Dakota.

“Now add to that, the fact that airlines often have dedicated resources to outreach and talent recruitment, it can be hard to smaller operations to compete,” she added. “That’s where NBAA comes in. We are able to act as the bridge between students considering a career in aviation and companies that are in need of talent but may not have the resources to travel all around the country for these events.”

There is increasing demand not only for pilots, but also maintenance technicians, operations managers, dispatchers, line service technicians and flight attendants. NBAA touches on all these careers – and more – at career fairs and other events.

Alpha Eta Rho National ConferenceLeft to right: Gil Lopez, Noah Yarborough, Matt Simmonds, Jamie Munoz

NBAA Manager, Operations Noah Yarborough recently took part in the Alpha Eta Rho (collegiate professional aviation fraternity) National Conference In Dallas, TX and spoke with more than 100 students from around the country.

“These students did not know that business aviation had competitive salaries to the airlines and had flexible schedules. They didn’t know about all of the different opportunities and different types of career paths,” he said. “I went into detail on the differences between Parts 125, 91 and 135 operators, why they should choose business aviation as a career, scholarships, networking events, the industry’s amazing community and more.

“It is extremely important for us to represent the industry at these events because most students do not even realize that business aviation is an option,” he added.

NBAA Local and Regional Groups Committee Vice Chair Jessica Belcher, marketing manager at Exclusive Aircraft Sales, recently helped organize a Corporate Aviation Day at North Star Aviation at Mankato Regional Airport in Minnesota. More than 125 students registered for the event and more than 20 companies took part.

“The students were excited to walk around the hangar, learn from the professionals and find out more about what their companies do,” said Belcher. “All in all, the event was a wonderful success. Students were either introduced to business aviation for the first time, or they continued to grow their connections from previous meetings and events. “The professionals were proud to showcase their passions for their work, and Jason, Cheri, and I thank everyone for their participation and support.”

NBAA will continue to take part in such events throughout the United States.

“With the airlines having such a major presence at these events and on the campus in general, it’s important to emphasize the benefits of working in business aviation versus other avenues and the wide array of career paths available within the industry,” said Hall.

Corporate Aviation Day at North Star Aviation at Mankato Regional Airport in MinnesotaCorporate Aviation Day, North Star Aviation, Mankato Regional Airport