No Pilots, Flights Cancelled

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I’m wondering if we’re seeing a canary in the mineshaft moment here.

This week, with the news that Seattle-based Horizon Air is cancelling more than 6 percent of its flights due to lack of pilots, the supposed true-or-not-true pilot shortage seems to be coming to a head. Actually, I think the canary has been dead so long that its desiccated bones have long since been trampled into dust by the boots of a remorseless market.

Low pay and work conditions may be part of the problem, but I think the industry struggles with the same reality that general aviation does: Piloting has just lost its allure. What used to be a torrent of people burning to fly is now just a trickle. It’s a demographic thing. To be sure, there will always be people passionate about flying, both to populate airline cockpits and to buy and fly GA airplanes. It’s just that there are enough fewer of them of make GA growth and airline pilot hiring a challenge.

The Seattle Times reports that for the month of August, it canceled 6.2 percent of its flights, automatically rebooking the passengers on other flights or on its parent, Alaska Air. The company’s chief executive, Dave Campbell, told employees that the airline’s sharp growth and the shortage of qualified pilots “created a perfect storm.” Perhaps. But it’s hard to see how this isn’t a storm of the industry’s own making.

Although starting salaries at the regionals have inched up recently, an ALPA sampling of starting salaries for first officers revealed ranges between $20,183 and $29,484. The average is about $23,000. Coincidentally, that’s what I was offered for an entry-level magazine job in 1981. Equivalent buying power today: $8500. That’s not even survival wages. Desperate for pilots, some airlines are offering signing bonuses of up to $20,000. While advancement can be rapid when labor is in short supply, a starting pilot can expect several years of barely subsistence pay. Who can blame would-be younger pilots for taking a pass?

ALPA has long maintained that the pilot shortage is really a pay and benefits shortage. As recently as last year, it said there were 141,542 ATP-rated pilots under the age of 65 who held a first-class medical. Another 100,000 held commercial and instrument ratings and could have obtained ATPs. Complicating this is the rule Congress passed requiring 1500 hours of total time for the ATP certificate. When that rule was passed, many in the industry predicted it would chill pilot hiring and I suspect Horizon Air’s shortfall is proving that claim to be well founded.

But I think the issue is deeper than just pay. At a conference on pilot hiring ALPA sponsored three years ago, Nicole Barrette, a training and licensing specialist with the International Civil Aviation Organization, said members of so-called Gen Z (born after 1995) are more cognizant of environmental issues and sensitive to return on investment for educational costs. At the same conference, an Embry-Riddle executive said a large number of students never start flight training and many drop out because of the cost.

They understand that they’ll be spending a mountain of money for ratings that won’t be useful even when they graduate because they’ll lack the 1500 hours for the ATP. And even then, a starting job at under $30,000 won’t make the slightest dent in student loans. While these students will catch up on pay over the course of a piloting career, perhaps they’re not quite so passionate about flying to endure that rather than picking another career entirely.

Embry-Riddle says more students are opting for the aeronautical engineering track, which has much higher starting salaries. Career earnings catch up for the pilots, but it takes 27 years to equal and exceed earnings. That assumes pay rates remain where they are, which isn’t assured.

That timeline strikes me as significant not just because a would-be airline pilot might not wish to wait that long, but also because my view is that autonomous aircraft operation will begin to impact the industry in unpredictable ways by then. That’s getting into the 2040 to 2045 time frame. Gonna be a different world.

For the shorter term, the piloting jobs will be there for people who want them and many will. But unless something is done with salaries, I’m guessing what happened to Horizon will be chronic. Aggravating this, according to Forbes, is the perverse relationship between the major carriers and regionals that caps what the regionals earn from tickets sold on their behalf by the majors. The contracts often require any surplus margin to go to the majors, forcing the regionals to cut costs however they can, and downward pressure on salaries is usually the result.  One company I read about offered its applicants a $500 a month housing stipend during training, but it had to be refunded if the deal didn’t work out. Who would want such a relationship with a potential employer who’s already paying beat-down wages?   

Horizon’s experience may be just a short-term blip, but it’s still a business failure when you can’t service customer demand because of a lack of labor. It shows poor planning and perhaps a lack of understanding of market dynamics. Is it the leading edge of chronic trend? Who knows? We’ll see how many more such stories we see. This isn’t the first.

Equally unknown is whether raising starting salaries would help. My guess is it wouldn’t help much because even doubling them doesn’t make the job sound much more attractive. Long term, I think two things should happen. One is to get rid of the inane 1500-hour ATP rule, which appears to be having real negative impact on the industry with no meaningful improvement in system safety.

And second, military and even GA channels are already drying up, so in conjunction with revising that 1500-hour rule, airlines could help themselves by more aggressive ab initio programs. As we’ve reported, Boeing has already started such a program, but the 1500-hour requirement stunts its effectiveness. JetBlue also has a small program of its own. Graduates still have to figure out ways to build the required hours. Ab initio is more common for European and Asian airlines.

In this sense, I think experience is overrated. As those who argued against the 1500-hour rule said, rightly I think, hours in a logbook are not necessarily any indication of a pilot’s skill. It’s just a measure of having sat in a seat for that many hours. Doesn’t it make just as much sense to train a pilot for the job he or she has to do right from the ground up, rather than relying on peripheral activities such as instructing or banner towing that might or might not inform the process of flying passengers in jet aircraft? In aviation in general but especially in the U.S., we’re unable to disabuse ourselves of the idea that a captain in the seat for, say, 5000 hours, is automatically a steely-eyed aviator. But anyone in the business who’s honest will tell you that some are, and some definitely aren’t.

Comments (33)

To quote a past President, " here we go again" ! I fully agree that Horizon's situation is a failure of business managment, not an alleged pilot shortage. I don't hear the mainline companies complaining about any "pilot shortage". One of the side effects of the 1500 hour rule is to increase salaries to a more livable level. I answered the "question of the week" without hesitation " no way, no how". This from someone ( myself) who has been in the pt135 flying business for 16 years and has been flying for over 30 years. Pt 135 ops doesn't always have the best of reputations as far as working conditions and equipment are concerned. I managed to get a position with a management company pt135 and 91 that has a better rep for treating its flight crews and does not have the pilot turnover that previous companies I have flown for have. For years aviation companies have taken advantage of persons with a "passion" for aviation, now people are getting smart and demanding that they get the pay and working conditions they deserve. Removing the ATP requirement would be a big mistake. With the airlines doing everything they can to gain control of ATC with the objective of restricting GA from airports they service is another example of the short sightedness of the airlines and their creating their own pilot supply problems. Until I see that the airlines start paying for training without training agreements, or smaller companies no longer requiring training agreements to get hired, there is no pilot shortage, period!

Posted by: matthew wagner | July 2, 2017 5:11 PM    Report this comment

You should add to your question of the week the following;

Would you take a starting airline pilot job that will require you to move or worse commute cross country to your base that could change at a moments notice by either the company or your union seniority? Staying at a crash pad with several other crews resting as well! You only get paid when the plane leaves the gate? Other ground time you get paid nothing. You could be put in a substandard hotel away from base. You will be the one who gets to fly on holidays until you build up seniority. And that seniority goes out the window when the company decides to layoff pilots and you get hired with another company. You will have to pass a check ride every 6-9 months or you lose your job. Every move you make in the cockpit is scrutinized. Possibly have to sign a training agreement. And then there is the TSA nonsense! All this and more for $25,000! I think people are finally wising up and seeing that this profession is not worth all these headaches.

Posted by: matthew wagner | July 2, 2017 5:29 PM    Report this comment

Was the 4-pilot Asiana crew that hand-flew the perfectly good 777 into a rock wall on a clear day "ab initio" trained? Yup, that's what I thought..

Posted by: Ken Keen | July 2, 2017 6:01 PM    Report this comment

We still need the farm teams. That's where the "ab initios" should go for their apprenticeship. Most skilled trades operate that way. Of course, in time, the position is going to go autonomous, as Paul ruminates. Sigh.

Posted by: MICHAEL BROOKER | July 2, 2017 7:28 PM    Report this comment

Living the dream is not enough. Motivate, prepare and use pilots by starting them at the same pay and benefits as Air Traffic Controllers. Pay well and demand well.

In GA, more pilots mean more airframes, engines, propellers more training facilities. In the Airlines more pax mean more airplanes and in turn more pilots. The foundation of aviation, GA, is being micro-regulated, fails to benefit, schools are vanishing, yet GA feeds the commercial pilot population. Yes, the 1500 hrs and the ROI are out of place. A better option, for the same money, is in a career as a school teacher, lawyer or or as a medical doctor. However, the basic problem remains, America needs enough new starts in aviation to balance the growing demand of commercial aviators. Do away with the 1500 hr reg and increase pay. Facilitate rather than hinder.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | July 2, 2017 7:47 PM    Report this comment

A couple of thoughts I have on this subject:

1. the 1500 hour rule IS what is increasing pay for pilots. It's restoring some sanity in terms of forcing regionals to provide more livable wages to pilots who have worked their butts off to get to that point in their career. I don't see it being reverted.
2. That said, the airline pilot career is a big sacrifice in terms of the time you spend away from family and friends and it takes many years before you are making good money and have some control of your schedule. Most major airlines require a 4 year degree which just puts you in additional debt to go with all your flight training costs and makes the ROI even longer. With a four year degree in something like engineering or IT, you start making good money right out of school, can easily top six figures after a few years, and can be home every night. The cost-benefit analysis just doesn't add up anymore for being an airline pilot in relation to some other careers out there.

Posted by: Chris Boyd | July 2, 2017 11:12 PM    Report this comment

Airlines are ignoring the crisis on the horizon.
If domestic ab initio is not begun soon, airline CEOs will be in front of TV cameras
lamenting the pilot shortage, and asking through crocodile tears for H1B visas.

Posted by: TOD TOWNE | July 3, 2017 4:06 AM    Report this comment

A 1,500-hour ab initio program? Look on the bright side: maybe they'll have time to actually teach them how to FLY, instead of just how to operate an airliner.
With automation looming, this reminds me of all of those ads for key-punch training in the early 1970s. (The nation was facing a burgeoning shortage of those indispensible high-tech workers.)
With apologies to Field of Dreams, if you pay them, they'll come...

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | July 3, 2017 4:46 AM    Report this comment

I remember the regional airlines enacting the pay for training schemes in the 1990's. Fortunately the regional I worked for eliminated it two weeks before I got hired. My salary in 2000? 20K a year. After furloughs, a bankruptcy, forced displacements, and the like, after 28 years in aviation I've finally reached the six figure mark. As for the regionals, payback is a... well, you know.

Posted by: SHANNON FORREST | July 3, 2017 5:42 AM    Report this comment

Criticizing the 1500 hour rule is so easy because it is arbitrary. But experience is important, in fact, it's vital. Every profession has experience requirements, and they all seem arbitrary to the critics. Many people forget the regional airline business was begun by major airlines arbitraging the oversupply of eager young pilots. Well, the game is up. The new guys won't play. Good for them. Organizations that have gotten used to abusing their pilot workforce, and I include the USAF, are going to have to change. The airline industry is notoriously resistant to change, and if they can lobby their way out of this little crisis, they will.

The rest of the world never had the rich sources of pilots we have - military and GA - and they've had to come up with their own solutions. The solutions are there and the unions have been saying so. Pay is part of it, but so is job security, a sound career path, time off with your spouse and kids when they are young as well as later, and relief from the high cost of training. Maybe it's time for the minor leagues to go, or to survive only as part of a guaranteed career path. I commend Jetblue and Cape Air for their creativity, but their effort is only a start. The big boys have to step up. Don't let them off the hook.

Posted by: Roger Cox | July 3, 2017 6:18 AM    Report this comment

"Welcome aboard Untied Airlines Flight 201, you will enjoy the first completely autonomous
flight in history. Sit back and relax, the plane is controlled by three separate computers, nothing could possibly go wrong...
go wrong...
go wrong...
go wrong......."

Posted by: karl schneider | July 3, 2017 7:53 AM    Report this comment

The airlines are starting folks at about $30k, and the Air Force is offering $35k a year EXTRA. Yet both are having trouble filling seats. Hmmm. Stop treating aviators as minimum-spec interchangeable parts and see what happens?

Posted by: MICHAEL MUETZEL | July 3, 2017 7:56 AM    Report this comment

Experience matters, the right experience matters most, but any additional experience is probably of benefit. To require pilots to have two to three years experience flying airplanes before stepping into the cockpit of a Part 121 carrier does not seem excessive. In addition, as a military trained pilot the requirement is only 750 hours, four year aviation school 1,000 hours, two year aviation school 1250 hours. That is an acknowledgement that formal training programs do not expose aviators to all they need to see to become a true professional. I would much rather have a well trained copilot with two years of pipeline/banner tow/bush pilot/night freight experience than a well trained right out of flight school pilot. Both are well trained, but the stick and rudder and decision making skills of the former are a real asset in my experience.
If not these numbers then what is the right qualifications to fly Part 121?

Posted by: Tommy Williams | July 3, 2017 8:44 AM    Report this comment

Pilot shortages are real. The 1500 rule should remain. Pay for experience - which is what 1500 hours is really all about - is crucial to the continuation of a career young people hardly notice in the 21st century.

Unhappy pilots are real and they're in front of the airplanes we travel in. Does this go to a safety issue? I don't think so. For better or worse, once a pilot straps into an airplane cockpit they do their job well.

While ab-initio pilot training can keep the pipeline full of seat warmers, just talking about it changes little in the short term.

Therefore a look at the current system seems appropriate. At the universities where flight training does take place, we have children teaching children. If such an analogy seems trifle then consider that future pilots of the American airline industry are not learning from experienced, grizzled grey beards, but receiving a cookie cutter education from other students.

And what of the grizzled grey beards. The few that are left can be found instructing part-time at the small to medium sized flight schools and flying clubs that are slowly fading away. Just how experienced are they? It's a good question. I've been around these places for years. Even hired a few. For the most part, these CFI's are part-time because they have real jobs or have retired from real jobs. And those jobs were not airline captain or F-16 pilot but moderately successful people that don't need the money, turning a hobby into a second or third career. Well minded folk to be sure, but save a handful, have been in left closed traffic for most of their part-time careers.

There is a real shortage of pilots to fly airliners around. Increasing entry level pay may put a dent in the shortage but, as Paul mentioned, even doubling the meager salaries is too little too late.

Another question; If there really is a shortage, how did we end up here? Could it be that making air travel available to more through deregulation has trickled down to; not enough pilots to support the demand?

Posted by: Chuck Cali | July 3, 2017 9:03 AM    Report this comment

"Low pay and work conditions may be part of the problem..." Ding Ding Ding, we have a winner !!!!!!!!

Posted by: Carlos Rodriguez | July 3, 2017 9:04 AM    Report this comment

I get increasingly amused by the blanket declarations that identify the problem and the whole of the problem as a payment issue. That's economic malpractice. Even in Econ 101 you learn that there are two independent components to the equation: demand *and* supply. I'm not seeing the supply side being addressed, well, at all. Sure you can start FOs at 60k and go up in the scale from there. Is that profitable at current ticket prices? Or does it mean that the regional airline's willingness to supply jobs at that price is much smaller meaning that at such pay scales the supply and demand equation for the airline/customer has to change too, no? What does that pay scale do to the price of an airline ticket and is there enough buyer demand to support flights at that price?

My best guess is no. At that pay scale regional airlines become much smaller and are possibly absorbed into the larger airline structure. This means that many small cities will lose access to feeders and possibly break the back of essential air service. I'm not sure what happens after that. My guess is twofold. One, the training pipeline stabilizes for the most part. There will be a marginal increase in pay at the low end. Due to lost service and further consolidation airlines will gain more pricing power to support fewer flights. The military will be a different nut to crack as the pay problem is in the end a political and logistical problem requiring military and political leadership solutions.

Posted by: Michael Mullins | July 3, 2017 9:29 AM    Report this comment

Regarding the futurism problem. I work deep in UAS research and my tentative opinion is that the time scale for replacing passenger air crews will be longer than Paul thinks. It's not just the autonomous adequacy of replacing, in effect, the QRH and getting auto takeoff working, but dealing with the small bits of decision making that the QRH doesn't address or hands off the the human crew including the weirdest passenger problems, including the occasional crazy people.

I predict that crew replacement will be common in 2040 on cargo aircraft. The passenger flights will see increased single pilot operations with the dispatcher taking on extra duties and standardized collaboration and problem solving with the pilot. Anything over 100 passengers will probably remain two member operations.

Posted by: Michael Mullins | July 3, 2017 9:37 AM    Report this comment

I wrote all about the problem, and then I deleted it. It does no good because no one agrees on the problem. One thing I've gotta say though, there are plenty of young people willing to BECOME Air Force pilots. Now, you think the USAF will pay me $150 an hour tell them the problem is their leadership being unable to tell Congress to stop playing games with our defense?

Anyway, here is a potential solution: Air Taxi Services.
1. IIRC, you don't need an ATP to fly one.
2. Pilots go home at night.
3. They take you where you want to go
4. They'd be viable if integrated into an airline

Your response likely is that people don't like to fly in little airplanes. My answer: you gotta sell it.

Posted by: Eric Warren | July 3, 2017 9:44 AM    Report this comment

"I'm not seeing the supply side being addressed, well, at all."

Yes and no. There are two aspects to this. One is the current supply, the second is the future supply. ALPA argues that there are currently an abundance of ATPs qualified to fly, but a shortage of applicants willing to do so for the offered pay. As for future supply, what stimulates it? I went to college and everything, but I have no idea. Pay may or may not be an incentive. In the background, I've gotten a few e-mails reminding me that I didn't address the lousy work hours and schedules starting pilots have to endure for quite some time. Good point.

"This means that many small cities will lose access to feeders and possibly break the back of essential air service."

What you're essentially saying is that the regional market, at least on some if not many routes, is edging toward unsustainability. It's not a business. Can't get enough pilots to fly the routes at the pay offered sustained by current fares. I believe you're right and that service to outlying markets will begin a steady decline. The pilot shortage, however you interpret the reality of it and causes, is just a leading indicator.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | July 3, 2017 9:45 AM    Report this comment

Canary my ***. Miners is dyin'.

Posted by: Brian Cooper | July 3, 2017 11:50 AM    Report this comment

Started college with the intention of being an airline pilot.

That changed over the course of freshmen year. I came to the realization that all the money & effort one inputs into the ratings chase and subsequent CFI time building job was not going to match the airline life's output.

Plus, it wasn't even my money paying for college flight training. The onerous experience that is college flight training is priced so high. That thought weighed on me as well.

So, four years ago I switched to a non-flying major. I have continued to watch this whole pilot scene progress since then. Personally, I don't feel like I am missing out. I don't expect to make six figures by age 25 or anything. It is just the input-output isn't there.

I am glad I made the decision to shift career goals sooner rather than later. I will be a-ok continuing to fly Skyhawks and Cubs for fun.

Posted by: Joshua Waters | July 3, 2017 12:31 PM    Report this comment

Flight instruction for the love of flight is a good thing.

Posted by: Rafael Sierra | July 3, 2017 12:46 PM    Report this comment

Growing up in the early 70's, in my rural-ish suburban neighborhood, the United pilot had the wealthiest family around, followed by a couple of doctors's households. The pilot wasn't older with a lot of seniority either. He was mid-30's, as were most of the adults in the neighborhood. His family owned the largest house, on top of the hill, with the swimming pool and the view. His family drove nice cars and went on vacations regularly. They dressed and ate well. The doctor's families too, but they didn't have as nice of houses or swimming pools. The pilot didn't come frm money either - he just was well paid.

That was before deregulation, of course. The point being, you can't discount the pay, or lack thereof. Becoming a pilot, or a doctor, was highly appealing to the kids in my neighborhood back then. That's not the case today for either profession.

The kids in my family who followed my father into teaching make more money and have more time off than most pilots today. Their kids, my nieces and nephews, have all flown with me, handled the controls, think it's cool. But they aren't interested in flying for a living.

Posted by: Richard Persons | July 3, 2017 1:42 PM    Report this comment

The Air Force Chief of Staff tells us that civilian pay is enough of an incentive that it if affecting his numbers:

Goldfein said. "You've got airlines that are hiring at a rate that we haven't actually seen in the past and offering significant salaries," he said. "But that's compounded with a force that's increasingly stressed coming out of 26 years of continuous conflict."

But, that last sentence is one to ponder this Independence Day. For nearly 30 years, the U.S. has been essentially, at war.

Posted by: Robert Ore | July 3, 2017 1:45 PM    Report this comment

"Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine."

As an aircraft mechanic, I post this quote. Very few people in the aviation industry have ever heard the word "Preventive". Try teaching a bean-counter, airline executive or aircraft owner that word sometime.

After the bald tire goes flat in the middle of the runway they come running panic and breathless to the mechanic: "The plane is in the middle of the runway with a flat tire!!!"

Two days later a huge shipment of tires show up.

The airline execs know what to do, but the tire is just a little bit bald. They got to milk this low wage thing for every penny before changes are made.

Posted by: Klaus Marx | July 3, 2017 2:29 PM    Report this comment

Pay-from horrible to great if you pick the right airline at the right time
Job Stability
Cost of training
time away from family

on the plus side, flying is fun. But will that compensate for all the negatives. Not even close

Posted by: Roy Zesch | July 3, 2017 4:03 PM    Report this comment


The 1500 hour requirement for ATP has been there since I started flying in the mid 60's, in fact it was there for the old ATR. Except for a short time in the 60's you needed an ATP to get an interview for the airlines. The Regionals always took lower time Commercial MEL licensed pilots until the 1500 hour rule for Co-Pilots

Posted by: ERNIE GANAS | July 4, 2017 2:50 AM    Report this comment

You're right. I should have been more specific about that. Here are the details.

Posted by: Paul Bertorelli | July 4, 2017 4:47 AM    Report this comment

After reading all the blog comments, I then went back and re-read Rick Durden's Feb 2014 "New ATP - The Sky is Falling" article in your referenced link. By the time I was done, I felt like Linda Blair in 'the Exorcist.' My head was spinning. Talk about the law of unintended consequences and my penchant for saying that "they" have been making simple stuff hard since 1958.

I have a friend who closed down his rare multi-engine seaplane flight training operation because of the 50 hour in class for a new ATP rule ... very few who didn't already posses the rating could afford to pay for 50 hours of MES time to add that rating. Result, the few operations where multi-sea ATP is required are also having a hard time finding stick actuators.

There are so many factors in the equation defining the problem that I scarcely know how to get my arms around it all. I do remember a professor in Econ 101 saying that money is NOT an incentive, it's only a disincentive. That appears true here ... given all the extra demands of being an properly certificated ATP starting out in the regionals. Why put yourself through all of that when there are other ways to go, as several commenters opined?

As I see it, there is a problem on both ends of the pilot spectrum. GA is dying a slow death due to over regulation (or lack of timely simplification) and costs and the two part current / future ATP supply and pay issue you described. The mythical 'they' are making it SO hard -- either way -- that people are walking away from what was once a very prestigious career or avocation. Only the most dedicated survive and that isn't enough to sustain it all. We're now down to rearranging the deck chairs here while not noticing the ship is sinking. Just because there are people who will pay for airline travel at Mach speeds doesn't mean the industry -- as a whole -- is either healthy or viable.

I'm surprised that no one brought up the potential problem of going through all of what is required to meet the requirements and suddenly a medical issue or accident pops up and ... you're out of work.

Rick Durden's last clause in his article says it all ... "I think I'd use what smarts I have to find a job that pays reasonably well and fly for enjoyment and personal transportation."

Posted by: Larry Stencel | July 4, 2017 10:34 AM    Report this comment

It wouldn't surprise me if the shortage of pilots (willing to fill 121 seats) accelerates cockpit automation and taking the human FO out the the cockpit ... along the lines of a Siri/Alexa as the FO.

Posted by: DON HUDDLER | July 4, 2017 12:57 PM    Report this comment

As a regional airline pilot (now captain) I can definitely tell you that the 1500 hour rule has single-handedly given pilot unions the best leverage we've had in years. To all those that don't think it's a pilot pay shortage, just look at my company. When we were having difficulties attracting enough new hires to fill our needs, the company would raise pay or give incentives to come here (free hotels during training, free commuter hotels, etc.). The amazing thing? Each of these benefits was done one-at-a-time and each time classes would go from half-full to full for a few months. Absolutely true that there's enough pilots out there.

Just look at any of the major or legacy carriers. They each have over 10,000 applications on file (and I'm one of them). Add to that how many pilots I've flown with Part 91 who have all said they would never fly for the regionals but would fly for a major carrier since the pay and quality of life is so much better. Get rid of the regional model all-together and watch the shortage instantly disappear. Funny how that would work...

Posted by: Paul Martin | July 4, 2017 1:16 PM    Report this comment

Your article doesn't mention a median wage for pilots ,but recently I received this link from an FAA source that would lead a young person interested in aviation to consider this as a profession.

The median annual wage for air traffic control specialists was $127,805 in 2016. The salaries for entry-level air traffic control specialists increase as they complete each new training phase.


Posted by: LARRY BARTLETT | July 6, 2017 2:12 PM    Report this comment

Based on workplace experience, I have come to the conclusion that so-called Millennials are different. Most of my Baby Boom peers and I have internalized the notion that "you're lucky to have a job." And yes, it's worked for us. Young adults today are much more demanding of the workplace. And why not? They're entering the workforce owing more for their education than they likely will owe for their first homes. No sense having a job that doesn't begin to move the ball down the field.
As a footnote, I would add that aviation isn't the only once-oversupplied field seeing a demographic shift as a result of the expense of a college education.

Posted by: Jerry Fraser | July 7, 2017 1:28 PM    Report this comment

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