Training has diminished to the lowest possible denominator. With EASA effectively killing off the self improver route for pilots, flying schools have closed and the military have reduced pilot intake due to cut-backs, flying becomes again for those who can afford to do it, not necessarily those who want to do it.
With pilots retiring in record numbers, no surprise as the 55’s become 65 and can’t take the FTL’s which airlines now take as targets, the perfect storm is upon us as pilot supply free falls.
Years of training neglect and airline arrogance will lead to airliners becoming static. The pilot drought will cause the weakest companies to fail and regionals fold as pilots follow the pay towards the medium and long-haul operators.
Why has this happened? Greed of the LoCos and hubris of the airlines could be cited but regardless of the cause the future needs a solution on a national/governmental scale if the aviation industry is to avoid catastrophic safety levels; for as demand increases, experience levels decrease to fill the gap.
With £/$ billions at stake we are still sleep walking into an aviation future with record aircraft orders but no pilots to fly them. There is not a current solution on the scale any where needed to resolve the problem. We need a coordinated and concerted effort if we are to avoid the mass grounding of aircraft. Military airfields need to be reopened with joint airline sponsorship schemes available to those with a passion to fly.
We have missed the opportunity to be proactive, we can only now react as the pilot shortage gathers pace…