It’s been 18 months since we first released our statistical analysis on the throughput of cadets. Here we revisit the latest statistics released by the CAA and question how the numbers stack up.
Pilot supply might not meet demand
With talk of a looming worldwide pilot shortage whilst aircraft orders and air travel are on the increase, FTA (a leading UK commercial pilot training school, based in Brighton) requested statistics from all the Aviation Authorities across Europe, to see just how many commercial pilot licences were issued in recent years in the UK and across Europe. The results were surprising.
Last year, around 4,000 initial Commercial Pilot Licences (fixed wing) or Multi Pilot Licences were issued in the EU and this number seems to be decreasing year on year in the UK, according to the CAA statistics from the last four years. Taking into account licence issues in individual countries, where statistics are available, the UK issued the most licences at 1072 but 48 % of the licences issued were to non-UK nationals. Most of the EU statistics are available but some countries (especially the smaller ones) were not able to provide statistics, so FTA has made certain assumptive estimations for those countries, based on population.
Are we going to run out of qualified pilots in Europe?
The current throughput might not be enough to meet demand when we consider that Boeing, the world's largest plane manufacturer has estimated that by 2034, there will be a need for 95,000 new commercial airline pilots in the EU alone. This equates to 5,000 pilots a year.
‘The UK is a great place for pilot training. The language of aviation is English; the weather and airspace are extremely complex and training standards are amongst the highest in the world. These key factors attract a lot of overseas students and is the main reason why the statistics for UK licence issues can seem disproportionately high’, says Jonathan Candelon, managing director at FTA.