PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Boeing reports that Asia will need 240,000 pilots in next 20 years
Old 3rd Sep 2018, 01:56
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Everett, WA
Age: 65
Posts: 2,827
I think most of you are over-reacting. We're not going to see pilotless commercial aircraft in 20 years. There is an outside chance that we see initial implementation of single pilot aircraft (automation good enough that it can take over and land an otherwise reasonably healthy aircraft it the pilot becomes incapacitated) - but there is no way pilotless will happen in the next twenty years (although I remain convinced it'll happen eventually).
This is simply Boeing throwing out a warning shot that, if nothing is done, we're looking at a pilot shortage. Purely self interest - they can't sell new aircraft if there are not enough pilots available to fly them, and since Asia is where the fastest growth is occurring, it's where the need for new pilots will be the strongest.
This is really nothing new - ~ 40 years ago Boeing (and others) were predicting an acute shortage of engineers by the year 2000. They knew that if qualified engineers were in short supply, they'd have to dramatically increase engineers pay. But by predicting a shortage, and providing financial incentives to STEM education, they were able to encourage lots of young people to go into engineering. As a result, the predicted shortage never occurred and engineer pay (when corrected for inflation) isn't a whole lot different today then it was 40 years ago (basically, good engineers will never go hungry, but are unlikely to ever get rich either - rather it remains basically a solidly middle class occupation).
I expect we'll see something similar happen for commercial pilots...
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