What we’re facing
Pre-Covid businesses said: We could expand and grow if we had the workforce.
Post-Covid businesses said: We must prepare for the future with workforce development.
The aviation/aerospace industry has been facing critical shortages with the resultant loss of business and billions of dollars for want of a skilled workforce. Boeing estimates the industry will need hundreds of thousands of workers to replace those retiring.
While the Covid-19 Pandemic is a setback, the industry, government, educators and unions continue to pursue workforce development programs to prepare the next generation of aviation & aerospace professionals to replace a tsunami of retirees.
Thousands of pilots have been furloughed, many of whom have pivoted their careers and may not return to the civil aviation workforce, according to CAE’s 2020-2029 Pilot Demand Outlook. The industry lost 9,400 of the 12,000 pilots scheduled to retire between 2020 and 2025 in 2020 — a single year while Oliver Wyman reported the industry will be short 34,000 by 2025.
CAE company sees significant challenges to meeting pilot demand citing analysis showing the civil aviation industry will require more than 260,000 new pilots over the next decade. The industry will experience upward mandatory retirement and attrition rates driving demand for about 27,000 new pilot by the end of 2021. Analysis shows commercial and business aviation are forecast to grow over the next decade adding 11,000 additional aircraft to the active fleet.
Source: CAE Pilot Outlook 2020
ARSA estimated its members were leaving $118 million per month ($1.4 billion year) on the table because they can’t find enough workers per-Covid.
Every 15 years, on average, the airline industry doubles, according to Halldale Group
Covid furloughs have no impact on the need to encourage more young people to pursue aviation and aerospace careers. Those efforts continue on many fronts and are now more important than ever.
The impact of Covid-19 does little to change the outlook since the shortages – expected to return in three-to-five years – are driven by retirements.
Cowen Research, in a research report – US Fleet & Pilot Workforce Needs to Shrink ~20% Post Covid-19 – said five years of pilot retirements, ~12,000, need to happen now. Airlines are reporting thousands of employees are taking early outs.