Demand unprecedented for pilots and technicians

As global economies expand and airlines take delivery of tens of thousands of new commercial jetliners over the next 20 years, there will be unprecedented demand for people to pilot and maintain these airplanes. To meet this tremendous growth, the 2015 Boeing Pilot and Technical Outlook forecasts that between now and 2034, the aviation industry will need to supply more than one million new aviation personnel—558,000 commercial airline pilots and 609,000 maintenance technicians.

Meeting this exponential demand for personnel will require innovative solutions that rely on the latest digital technology to match the learning requirements of a new generation. Trainers will thus focus on enabling airplane operators to gain optimal advantage of the advanced features of the latest generation of airplanes, such as the 787 Dreamliner, 737 MAX, and the 777X. And instructors will need to have cross-cultural and cross-generational skills to engage tomorrow's increasingly diverse aviation workforce.

Economic expansion fueling aviation demand

Airlines around the world are expanding their fleets and flight schedules to meet the global economic expansion. The aviation industry continues to address these challenges by creating a balanced, sustainable solution to filling the future pilot and technician pipeline. Regional markets that have relied heavily on recruiting pilots from outside their home locations will increasingly require a strong foundation for developing and training qualified pilots locally.

Asia Pacific remains the region with the highest overall demand—some 40 percent of the world's required pilots and technicians—but the anticipated number of skilled resources required in other parts of the world, such as the Middle East and Latin America, has significantly increased.

Asia Pacific leads future pilot demand

Taking a closer look at the numbers, the largest projected growth in pilot demand is, as stated, in the Asia Pacific region, which will require an estimated 226,000 new pilots over the next 20 years. Europe and North America will each require 95,000 new pilots; the Middle East, 60,000; Latin America, 47,000; the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), 17,000; and Africa, 18,000.

New Pilots by Region (2015-2034)

New Technicians by Region (2015-2034)

Airplane reliability affecting maintenance

As newer-generation airplanes become more prevalent in worldwide aviation fleets over the next 20 years, airplane reliability will improve, and maintenance-check intervals will lengthen. Although these advances will moderate demand somewhat, the global need for technicians will remain strong. Global fleet growth—along with an increasing trend in outsourcing maintenance, repair, and overhaul activities to third-party providers in emerging markets—will drive an increased need for qualified technicians sourced from more locations.

The future need for maintenance personnel is again largest in the Asia Pacific region, which will require 238,000 new technical personnel. Airlines in Europe will require 101,000; North America, 113,000; the Middle East, 66,000; Latin America, 47,000; and the CIS and Africa, 22,000 each.