Welcome to Pilot Bridge.
The world of aviation is changing. The pilot shortage is here, not forecast or pending, it is here. It has been made deeper and more critical by the economic crash in 2008 when the pilot supply cycle was at it lowest. However, instead of the industry investing in its future – securing a reliable pilot supply and making the career more attractive one – instead it made more cut backs in an already inadequate training system and recruited even less only to work existing pilots much harder.
Fast forward to 2015; the lack of investment in training, retirements now reaching the extended 65 year point, pilots working to maximum possible duty times, military cut backs reducing commercial supply and potential pilots turning their back on a system that leaves them with crippling debts and we see the result – the deepest pilot supply crisis to hit the industry in its history.
All sectors are being affected. Commercial has all but dried up its much vaunted pool of suitable candidates, a pool shared by all the other airlines. Entry requirements are being reduced and poaching from other airlines, even in their own back yards, is on the increase. Corporate operations are also seeing an increase in retirements with the associated loss of experience with the reduced ability to replace it. With orders of new jets increasing, ranging in cost from $50 to 100 million, most face more parking fees than airways charges.
If the corporate sector wants to keep its aircraft flying it has to consider a long over looked but target rich source for recruitment – commercial pilots.
Pilot Bridge (PB) aims to provide the prime crossover point for commercial pilots to access the GA sector to the mutual benefit of both parties. The benefit to GA is having a supply of highly experienced pilots, familiar with new technology, with the depth of experience on worldwide route networks and approach requirements, who can operate complex aircraft safely and securely for high value passengers. The benefit to the pilots is having access to a viable alternative to the airlines which provides a new challenge in their careers while also offering the quality of life they seek.