Pilot & Technician Outlook

Burgeoning demand for highly trained personnel

As global economies expand and airlines take delivery of tens of thousands of new commercial jetliners over the next 20 years, the demand for personnel to fly and maintain those airplanes will be unprecedented. The aviation industry will need to supply approximately one million new commercial airline pilots and maintenance technicians between now and 2032 to support this tremendous growth.

The 2013 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook, a respected industry forecast of personnel demand, projects a requirement for 498,000 new commercial airline pilots and 556,000 new maintenance technicians to fly and maintain the new airplanes entering the world fleet over the next 20 years.

Meeting this exponential demand growth will require innovative solutions focused on new digital technology to match the learning requirements of a new generation. The growing diversity of aviation personnel will require instructors to have cross-cultural and cross-generational skills. Training providers will focus more strongly on enabling airplane operators to gain optimum advantage from the advanced features of the latest generation of airplanes, such as the 787 Dreamliner.

Pilot outlook

Airlines across the globe are expanding their fleets and flight schedules to meet surging aviation demand in emerging markets. The industry continues to consider how to address challenges and fill the future pilot pipeline.

The largest projected growth in pilot demand is in the Asia Pacific region, with a requirement for 192,300 new pilots over the next 20 years. China will generate the largest share of the region's demand, with a need for 77,400 pilots. Europe will require 99,700 pilots, North America 85,700, Latin America 48,600, the Middle East 40,000, Africa 16,500, and the Commonwealth of Independent States 15,200.

Technician outlook

As new-generation airplanes come to dominate the world fleet, airplane reliability will improve and maintenance check intervals will lengthen. Although this trend will moderate demand growth, global demand for technicians remains significant.

Emerging markets that currently recruit maintenance technicians from outside the region will have to develop a strong foundation for developing and training qualified technical personnel from within the local workforce.

The need for maintenance personnel is greatest in the Asia Pacific region, which will require 215,300 new technical personnel. China's requirement will be the region's greatest, with a need for 93,900 technicians. Airlines in Europe will require 108,200, North America 97,900, the Middle East 53,100, Latin America 47,600, the Commonwealth of Independent States 18,000, and Africa 15,900 technicians.