Boeing Report Estimates Massive Pilot Shortage


Earlier this week, Boeing released its 2018 Pilot and Technician Outlook, an annual report providing information about the current and projected future state of the aviation industry. This year’s report estimates that there is going to be a need for nearly 800,000 pilots over the next 20 years. For comparison’s sake, this is double the current workforce, and represents the biggest demand for any position in the nine years Boeing has been completing this outlook.

Not Enough Pilots, Too Many Planes

The biggest reason for the anticipated shortage is the rapid growth of the aviation industry. Boeing alone plans to double its commercial airplane fleet, as are many other businesses. Additionally, there is now a record-level of demand for air travel. While about the same number of pilots enter the workforce each year, this increase in demand and available aircraft could create a shortage in the near future.

Boeing representatives have said that the best way to prevent a global shortage from occurring is to focus on training and developing more pilots. Boeing plan to partner with governments and educational institutions to help them with the creation of more flight training programs and flight schools across the globe.

Technicians and Commercial Crew

The Outlook also discussed the anticipated need for maintenance technicians and commercial cabin crew. In terms of maintenance, the anticipated need for more pilots, it is expected that the demand for maintenance is going to decrease by about 64,000 workers. The biggest reason for this is that most new types of aircraft being produced do not require as much routine maintenance, with the interval between maintenance check increasing.

While demand for technicians is expected to go down, the outlook is certain that more cabin crew are also going to be needed to full future needs. The demand is anticipated to increase by about 19,000 positions. Denser seating and changes in regulatory requirements are among the top reason for this increase in cabin crew need.

Business Flight and Civilian Helicopter Services

For the first time in the publication’s nine years, data about business aviation services and civilian helicopter services were also taken into consideration. The outlook found that both sectors are going to need an additional 155,000 pilots in the next few years. Around 132,000 technicians are also going to be needed, setting the business and civilian class apart from more commercial flights.

Boeing outlooks for prior years also indicated that there may be a shortage of pilots in the near future. This particular report tells us that the need is becoming dire. Hopefully, the recruitment and education strategies implemented with the assistance of Boeing can help fill this gap before it becomes a major obstacle to air travel throughout the world.


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