The case for a looming shortage comes from the demand for planes and pilots. Boeing Co. projects a conservative demand for 36,770 planes worldwide over the next 20 years, including 7,550 in North America, and 13,460 in Asia.
Airlines hire about 10 pilots per plane, to fly all day every day. Boeing projects a need for 533,000 new pilots by 2033, including 88,000 in North America and 216,000 in Asia.
This is at a time when the business aviation forecasters predict that approximately 9,250 new business jets worth over $260 billion will be delivered from now until 2022 with the trend toward larger jets with extended range capability.
The figures just do not add up.
With the commercial sector recruiting experienced pilots so heavily, further diminishing the available source of pilots, the crewing of new and existing business jets with the skills and experience level they demand is in serious doubt.
Where can the pilots come from?
It takes a long time to train a pilot, it takes even longer to gain worldwide experience using state of the art equipment and gain the skills and knowledge to operate safely in command. The only place that holds this type of resource in the numbers that will be required by business jet operators is the commercial sector.
Historically more corporate pilots cross to the commercial sector when they recruit than leave commercial to corporate. There are many reasons for this including lack of understanding of the sector and the perceived added security an airline career seems to offer. This situation needs to be changed and changed quickly if business jets are to avoid being parked up or new jet orders being cancelled….they have been warned.