Boeing predicts increased global demand for airline pilots

Over the next two decades, the commercial aviation industry will need more than one million new pilots and technicians to support the growing demand for new airplane deliveries, Boeing has forecasted.

According to the US multinational aerospace company, by 2032 the world will require 498,000 new commercial airline pilots and as many as 556,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians. The forecast is part of Boeing’s 2013 Pilot and Technician Outlook, an industry forecast of aviation personnel that was released during an event at the Boeing Flight Services campus in Miami.

The 2013 outlook forecasts major increases in pilot demand, in all regions except Europe, compared to previous forecasts. The projection for Europe declined slightly over last year’s outlook.

‘The urgent demand for competent aviation personnel is a global issue that is here now and is very real,’ said Sherry Carbary, vice president of Boeing Flight Services. ‘The key to closing the pilot and technician gap in our industry is enhancing our training with the latest, cutting-edge technologies to attract and retain young people interested in careers in aviation.’

The rising pilot demand is driven by increasing airplane deliveries, particularly single-aisle airplanes, and represents a global requirement for about 25,000 new pilots annually. Global demand for technicians also remains significant, at approximately 28,000 new technicians required annually.

However, with the advent of more efficient and smarter airplanes, the requirement for mechanics is expected to reduce over time, as aging aircraft, which normally require more maintenance, are retired from service. The new and emerging airplane technologies with more advanced components are also likely to lead to lower maintenance requirements and corresponding lower technician demand.

‘This is a global issue that can only be addressed by industry-wide innovation and solutions,’ said Carbary, adding: ‘We need to attract more young people to careers in aviation by continually looking at innovative ways to train pilots and technicians, moving away from paper and chalkboard-based learning to incorporate tablets, eBooks, gaming technology and three-dimensional models.

‘Aviation is a great field to be in – we have a responsibility to make sure it’s a viable career option for the world’s youth,’ she added.