ATP Grads at Airlines

Why Aren't There Enough Airline Pilots? Part Three

Published Dec 2, 2010 on Pilot Jobs

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I was recently invited by AOPA to give a presentation at the Aviation Summit in long Beach California. I began by informing the audience of aviators and guests that there was good news, that the airline industry had turned the economic corner and the resulting profitability meant pilots are being recruited and hired by both Regional Airlines and Major Airlines alike.


I’ve been sharing the presentation from the Aviation Summit over the last two blog posts. I’ve been discussing some of the reasons for the hiring scenario that is in place today as well as taking a look at the reasons for the impending challenges facing airline recruiters in the near future.

Those facts and figures that we have talked about to this point are contributing to this shortage of pilots prepared to take new flying jobs for the airline industry. This situation will begin to worsen considerably on December 13th 2012. That is when Airline Pilots who have had their retirements delayed for five years begin to reach the age of 65 and will be forced to resign their positions and retire. It is closely estimated that over one thousand additional airline pilots will retire in 2013 and will set the pace of increased retirements into the future.

In only eight years from now that forced retirement figure will be over two thousand pilots a year. Over 38,000 Major Airline pilots will have to retire by the year 2030 due to this retirement rule. That staggering number is in addition to the major airline pilots who presently retire each year due to medical issues or other personal reasons.

All of the problems we have discussed over the last few days add up to a “Perfect Storm” for the airline industry. There clearly WILL be a pilot shortage in the near future, and ATP is on the forefront of working with airlines to address it proactively.

ATP is efficiently training pilots to successfully obtain the ratings and certificates required to fly for the airline industry, and doing it in the agreed upon time frame and cost. ATP graduates soon find flying jobs in aviation and go on to successful careers. This is reflected by the extremely low default rate on student loans by ATP Graduates (under 1.5%) as opposed to other programs where the default rate is 18 to 20%. ATP Graduates are flying for a living while accruing seniority and are able to meet their obligations, while others struggle to complete their training while racking up costs.

ATP is diligently working to make sure that our Airline Career Pilot Program and the RJ Program graduates pilots who can make the most of their new-hire training with the airlines. For example, less than one half of one percent of the pilots who have graduated from ATP’s Regional Jet Program has ever washed out of new hire training.

ATP also offers guidance for aspiring pilots by having currently flying Airline Pilots mentor them through, which has proven to be a valuable resource for thousands of students who have gone on to fly in the airline industry.

In addition, Mountain State University recently announced that they will now offer a bachelor's degree program that includes ATP’s Airline Career Pilot Program flight training. MSU Students will take advantage of ATP’s long history of airline-style flight training at ATP Flight Schools nationwide while tackling the academics online with MSU. This program will bring aspiring professional pilots the absolute best value in college education, flight training, and career opportunities.

ATP continues to lead the way in the Flight Training Industry by finding solutions to problems faced by the “front end” of the aviation industry. By innovating these new solutions ATP will stay ahead of a constantly evolving industry that the airline industry always has been and will continue to be into the future.

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