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Boeing forecasts technician and pilot demand surge

Boeing released its 2015 Pilot and Technician Outlook yesterday (July 20), where it predicted that the demand for commercial airline pilots and maintenance technicians is set to increase over the next 20 years.

As the world's airlines are expected to add 38,000 aircraft to the global fleet within the same timeframe, the news of such an increase is far from ground breaking. However, the sheer scale of the expected rise compared to last year’s figures is quite something.

According to the study, the industry will see a four per cent increase in new commercial airlines pilots – that’s 558,000 pilots in total - and a five per cent increase in new commercial maintenance technicians (609,000) by 2034.

This demand averages at about 28,000 new pilots and more than 30,000 new technicians per annum. The report also notes that the highest demand for new pilots and technicians will come from the Asia Pacific region, followed by Europe and then North America.  

But while Boeing says that it has put measures into place in order to meet the impending boom, the OEM says achieving such figures is an industry-wide challenge, rather than a feat to be tackled by just one company.

"Aircraft manufacturers, airlines, training equipment manufacturers, training delivery organisations, regulatory agencies and educational institutions are all stepping up to meet the increasing need to train and certify pilots and technicians," says Sherry Carbary, vice-president, Boeing Flight Services.

Indeed, Boeing hasn’t shied away from its responsibility and just last year the OEM trained “a record number of pilots and technicians at 17 training campuses around the globe”, says Carbary. That’s in addition to an investment in a comprehensive Pilot Development Programme used to train early stage pilots to become qualified commercial airline pilots.

While the “growing appetite for air travel" is set to continue, it will be interesting to see how key players within the market respond, plan ahead and step up to the plate, as the industry asks for “more pilots please”.

TAGS: Airframes
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