IBA: Training Pilots and Engineers Requires US$4bn Industry Investment

The International Bureau of Aviation (IBA) said that it estimates industry investment of over US$4bn will be needed to provide training for the projected one million new aviation professionals and sustain the growth of commercial aviation over the next 20 years.

The IBA announcement follows Boeing’s recently-released ‘Pilot and Technical Outlook’, which predicts that based on “surging aviation demand in emerging markets”, airline fleet expansion around the world will drive what it calls an “exponential increase” in demand for pilots and mechanics over the next 20 years.

According to Boeing, this will mean a record need for an additional 533,000 airline pilots and 584,000 maintenance technicians to meet global aviation requirements.

IBA said it has noted that the global growing demand for pilots and skilled technicians has been accompanied by a significant rise in the requirement for expert aviation training related services. The investment is not only needed to improve and expand existing facilities in Europe and North America, but also to develop new centres of training in Africa and Eastern Asia over the next two decades.

“This is also a global issue as emerging economies seek to train their own pilots and engineers rather than persistently raid the supply of experienced European and US specialists,” commented IBA.

Countries, regions, airlines or even existing training facilities frequently need assistance with the development of the right infrastructure and resources to ensure that they can attract and sustain candidates of the right calibre.

IBA said its support has been instrumental in helping to build centres of excellence in Africa and the organisation offers a wide range of services to the global aviation training Industry. It regularly provides appraisals of flight simulators and training aircraft, as well as assisting schools and academies with their growth and development. This includes the preparation of business plans, right through to fleet replacement strategies.

“Without properly trained pilots and engineers the predicted growth in commercial aviation will falter,” said Phil Seymour, IBA’s president and chief operating officer (COO).

“It’s not just about the money needed to build the infrastructure and fund the professional instructors, it’s about having a long-term strategy that inspires young people to choose aviation as a career; then focuses on creating a mobile global workforce, trained to universally high standards and equipped with the knowledge and expertise that will contribute to successful and profitable airline businesses.

“Everyone is talking about this problem, it’s time to do something about it.”

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