Boeing sees growing global demand for airline pilots


More than a million new pilots and technicians will be needed by the commercial aviation industry over the next two decades in response to growing demand for new aircraft, Boeing is predicting, with Africa expected to require 16 500 pilots and 15 900 technicians.

During an event yesterday marking the launch of 787 flight training at the Boeing Flight Services campus in Miami, the company released its 2013 Pilot and Technician Outlook which predicted that by 2032 the world will require 498 000 new commercial airline pilots and 556 000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians.
“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 2013 outlook projects significant increases in pilot demand – compared to previous forecasts – in all regions except Europe, which declined slightly over last year’s outlook. Overall, the demand is driven by steadily increasing aircraft deliveries, particularly single-aisle airplanes, and represents a global requirement for about 25 000 new pilots annually.

Global demand for technicians remains significant, Boeing said, at approximately 28 000 new technicians required annually. However, the introduction of more efficient and smarter aircraft will require fewer mechanics over time, as aging aircraft – which typically require more maintenance – are retired from service. New aircraft technologies featuring more advanced components are likely to lead in some areas to lower maintenance requirements and corresponding lower technician demand.

Boeing estimates that the Asia-Pacific region will require the most pilots and technicians, with 192 300 pilots and 215 300 technicians required over the next two decades. Europe follows with 99 700 pilots and 108 200 technicians and North America comes in third with demand for 85 700 pilots and 97 900 technicians.

Latin America is estimated to need some 48 600 pilots and 47 600 technicians while the Middle East’s requirements are for 40 000 pilots and 53 100 technicians. Russia and CIS are expected to need 15 200 pilots and 18 000 technicians, Boeing predicts.
“This is a global issue that can only be addressed by industry-wide innovation and solutions,” said Carbary. “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.”