National Pilot Crisis: What you Need to Know About the Pilot Shortage

As an aeronautics school, we closely follow aviation job trends. While our focus is on flight dispatcher programs and helping our students get their aircraft dispatcher license, the national pilot crisis is alarming for everyone in the field. At Sheffield School of Aeronautics, we have everything you need to know about the pilot shortage.

You are wanted- pilot shortage

Facts on the Pilot Shortage

Unfortunately, this problem isn’t just a national pilot
shortage. The shortage of pilots is a trend affecting the entire world.
According to Boeing’s Pilot Outlook, the world demand for new pilots from
2018-2037 is an estimated 790,000 with the United States making up 117,000 of
this demand. 1 This is an alarmingly high number and trying to fill
this gap will be difficult.

The shortage of pilots isn’t just the demand for new pilots
but also the number of pilots that will be leaving the job. Almost half of the
commercial pilots in the United States are Baby Boomers, and they are expected
to retire in the coming years. 2 The problem will be trying to
replace these large number of retirees while also meeting the growing demand
for more pilots over the next 20 years.

Solutions to Pilot Shortage

So, what is the solution to this grand problem?
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. There is a debate on how the strict
rules and regulations could be making these numbers worse or deterring
potential candidates from joining the field. Increasing the retirement age may
help for the coming years, but this is only a short-term solution. In 2013, a
change to Part 121 required all pilots to get their ATP certificate, adding a
delay to becoming a pilot.

Another possible and probably inevitable part of the
solution is making the pilot jobs more attractive Some perks may include an
increased salary or better benefits to entice new candidates into the aviation
field. There may even be developments in AI that could relieve some of this
pilot shortage problem, but the technology for this is still years away from
being implemented on a regular basis.

Private and commercial airlines are competing to fill these problematic gaps, even resorting to recruiting military pilots, but the future of aviation is still uncertain. At our aircraft dispatcher school, we will continue to follow these trends as they could affect the future of our students with everything from the starting flight dispatcher salary to possibly changes in the FAA dispatch license.


  1. Boeing- Pilot Outlook: 2018-2037
  2. Forbes- A ‘Perfect Storm’ Pilot Shortage Threatens Global Aviation
  3. Flying Magazine- The Pilot Shortage

Additional Readings:

Women in Aviation

The Different Flight Dispatcher Jobs

Choosing the Right Career in Aviation

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