We spoke to FTA instructor Iain McInnes about his love of teaching and his new qualification to train the next generation of flight instructors.
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.
Do you want to pursue pilot training, but feel the traditional university educational route is more affordable and more likely to get you a job? FTA did the maths, and the results may surprise you.
"Everyone’s skills need testing, but not everyone needs to acquire those skills at university – and not everyone needs to go to university before they start working" – Financial Times, November 2015