Boeing VP says women can ‘fill the pilot void’ following latest pilot forecast

Boeing’s 2016 Pilot & Technician Outlook, which was released on 25 July at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in convention in Wisconsin, has stated a need for 617,000 new pilots from now until 2035.

This means approximately 31,000 new pilots a year, with 2 million new pilots, cabin crew and technicians expected to be collectively needed in the next 20 years to meet rising demand within commercial aviation. Boeing forecasts 57,000 more pilots than Airbus’ outlook, which was released last week.

This year’s figures from Boeing show a growth of 10.5 percent for pilots over the 2015 outlook. “The Pilot and Technician Outlook has become a resource for the industry to determine demand for successful airline operations” said Sherry Carbary, Vice President, Boeing Flight Services, adding why project numbers for cabin crew have been included in the outlook for the first time. “Cabin crew are an integral part of operating an airline, and while Boeing does not train cabin crew like pilots and technicians, we believe the industry can use these numbers for planning purposes.”

As in previous outlooks, the overwhelming requirement for pilots will be seen in the Asia-Pacific area, with more than 248,000 pilots needed over the next 20 years.

Carbary highlighted what she called a ‘huge opportunity’ for women, following the outlook’s release. Speaking at a media briefing at the event, Carbary, explained, “Boeing is a big proponent of getting more women… into the aviation community overall, but certainly as pilots and technicians because of the need.”

“You hear that women don’t want to be pilots because they don’t want to be away from families… cabin crew are away from their families, and women can help fill that (pilot) void,” she said.