AN INVESTIGATION OF THE UNITED STATES AIRLINE PILOT LABOUR SUPPLY

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Rebecca Lutte

Keywords

Pilot supply forecast, international pilot hiring, pilot shortage, cost of flight training, major airline hiring

Abstract

Over the next 20 years, the United States airline industry is expected to hire in excess of 95,000 pilots. This hiring will be the result of new aircraft growth, pilot retirements, and pilot attrition from the industry for reasons other than retirement. In addition, government regulations may also cause an increase in the number of new pilots required. Given this increased demand, will there be enough new pilots to ensure a long-term and continuous supply? The purpose of this research is to examine the supply and demand for US airline pilots. Several new considerations are having an impact on future supply and demand of airline pilots including cost of training, growth, retirement, regulatory changes, and slowing supply of military pilots. The methodology provides an empirical analysis of the pilot labor supply in the US. A multivariate regression model was developed to forecast demand. To explore supply, a variety of data sources have been included and a survey was implemented. The results of the study indicate that the US airline industry will experience a shortage of approximately 35,000 pilots for the 2013 to 2031 time period. The impact of the shortage on regional and major airlines is examined. Possible solutions are discussed.

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