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UN warns of pilot shortage

February 20, 2012, 02:41 pm

The United Nations aviation agency recently launched a video contest to get young adults interested in the airline industry. The video contest was started in response to reports warning that a worldwide pilot shortage is becoming a reality.

According to AFP, the International Civil Aviation Organization's YouTube video contest is calling for young adults to become more excited about professions in the aviation industry, and the winner of the contest will be invited to the World Aviation Training Conference and Tradeshow in Orlando, Florida. The ICAO is concerned that the aviation industry will not be able to grow enough in the next few years to meet the increasing demand for flights. The organization predicts the number of flights required to meet consumer demand will double to 50 million flights a year by 2030, while the number aircrafts needed will triple to 151,000.

The source reported there were 460,000 licenses pilots in the world in 2010. More than 980,000 are expected to be needed to man the flights by 2030, indicating the global aviation industry will have to train 52,500 new pilots each year to stay afloat. This number is 8,146 more pilots than is predicted to graduate from flight schools in the next few years. In addition, a shortage of 18,000 maintenance personnel will also need to be addressed.

In South Florida, however, the news about a potential pilot shortage worldwide has increased enrollment in flight schools, marking the largest influx in foreign students since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Transportation Security Administration has streamlined the application process into flight schools, making it easier for students to enroll. The year-round warm weather of South Florida makes it an ideal spot for flight schools to training pilots, the Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

This year, more than 1,000 foreign nationals are enrolled in 30 flight schools between Miami and West Palm Beach in hopes of becoming a licensed pilot to help fill the void of pilots needed all over the world. While in training, flight students will learn about safety, technology and pilot insurance to ensure their trips are protected from financial hardship. The influx in enrollment is welcome, as about 500 flight schools throughout the United States had to close down due to the poor economy and restrictions placed on flight schools after the 9/11 attacks, the source reported.

Keeping the skies safe includes investment in pilot insurance as well. 

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