Boeing Thursday released its 2013 Pilot and Technician Outlook that predicts the need for nearly 500,000 airline pilots by 2032, and the company says the number shows an increase over previous forecasts for nearly all regions. The company says the demand is driven by steady increases in airplane deliveries, most of which are single-aisle jets. Worldwide, the demand manifests as about 25,000 new pilots needed each year over the next two decades, according to the company’s latest best guess. The Asia Pacific region is expected to provide the highest demand at more than double that of the U.S. over the same 20-year span, with Europe expressing lowest demand. Boeing recognizes the current demand as a “gap in our industry” and expects to see changes that may help “attract and retain young people interested in careers in aviation.”
According to Boeing, “The key to closing the pilot and technician gap in our industry is enhancing our training with the latest, cutting-edge technologies.” But it’s not clear that there is industry consensus on the best approach, moving forward.