Business Aviation Insider - November/December 2013 (PREVIEW) - (Page 13)
Qualified Pilots and A&Ps
Get creative in attracting and mentoring skilled pilot and
maintenance professionals for your flight operation's long-term success.
You can help avert a skills shortage at your
company by proactively working to attract,
mentor and retain top aviation talent.
"On pilot message boards sometimes you'll see
people posting, 'The pilot shortage is a myth' or
'I just don't see it,'" reports Dr. Tony Kern, CEO
of Convergent Performance, a risk-management
advisory firm. "Anyone who says that is only looking two inches in front of their face."
It's true: The pilot shortage - and a similar
crunch for aviation maintenance talent - has been
hotly debated but has seemingly failed to materialize. Many industry experts agree, however, that
a shortage has only been delayed by a series of
outside events, and it will be felt soon.
Business aviation recruiting experts often refer
to a coming "perfect storm" affecting the supply
of, and demand for, talent. The most obvious
factor is the proximity to retirement of many
aviation directors, chief pilots and maintenance
managers. "I've been here 10 years and I'm the
new kid on the block," said Jim Sparks, director of maintenance at a Fort Worth, TX-based
operator. "The median age in our maintenance
department is 58."
Compounding that is a drop-off in pilots and
technicians entering the industry from the military
and competition for talent from the commercial
airlines. One industry forecast, the 2012 Boeing
Pilot & Technician Outlook, projects that globally,
commercial airlines will need to hire 460,000 new
pilots and 601,000 new maintenance technicians
Demand for pilots was temporarily depressed by
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