Pilot Shortages Loom in Middle East

Posted by: Prince Jets  Jun 02, 2014 08:06 AM

Business aviation in the middle east continues to grow at a steady rate. Yet that continued growth begins to raise a problem for the general aviation sector in the middle east and elsewhere. That problem is that there is higher demand for private jet pilots than those available. IATA (International Air Transport Administration) predicts that there will be an international demand (both business and commercial) for 17,000 new pilots per year. Yet the current training programs only output a maximum of 15,000 pilots per year.

To meet that demand commercial operators are stepping up their recruitment efforts. This is a complex issue to tackle however, with different demand and regulations in each region. There are also differences in the skillset needed for commercial pilots and private aviation pilots. Business aviation pilots are not just locked behind closed doors of a flight deck, instead they are highly visible to their clients and customers and need broad communication skills, leadership abilities and service abilities that are not demanded of commercial pilots.

Considering that 96 percent of pilot trainees are more interested in the commercial side of flights the business aviation sector is going to have to find new strategies to recruit new talent and retain them as private aviation pilots. 

There are perhaps options to grab some of the older pilots from commercial aviation and attract them with a more flexible lifestyle in biz aviation, but nothing is guaranteed there. 

The shortage of pilots will be something that business aviation companies in the middle east and elsewhere will have to address if growth continues.

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