Perpetua: The UAH Journal of Undergraduate Research


Hans Gorowsky


College of Business




In the United States for the next 20 years the demand for commercial airline pilots is expected to be at an all-time high. Boeing estimates a need for 117,000 new pilots in North America alone. The demand for pilots is increasing and the number of airline transport pilots (ATPs) are also increasing from year to year. From 2016 to 2017 the percent change in passengers went up 3.03% while the percent change of pilots was only up 1.22%. (U.S. Civil Airman Statistics 2018). The number of people traveling has increased in the last decade to almost a billion passengers per year. “over the next 10 years, IATA forecasts that passenger trips will grow by 4.3% annually”. The supply of pilots is analyzed through the number of certificates held in the following three categories. certified flight instructor, commercial pilot, and airline transport pilot certificate. The trend for the total amount of commercial pilots is falling from 2008 to 2017 which tells us that the airline industry is either losing pilots or is not hiring enough to replace retirees. The trend for new commercial pilots is increasing from 2015 to 2017 and this is a response to the industry recognizing a shortage. Each airline will have to make decisions based on their needs. Well qualified, certified pilots are an important factor for safe air travel and the airline industry needs these pilots for a profitable future.



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