Pilot Shortage Threatens Online Shopping


The president of the Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association says the escalating pilot shortage could soon be hitting mainstream America where it hurts most. “Millions of Americans are not going to get their online purchases delivered to their front door if the situation does not improve,” RACCA President Stan Bernstein told Global Trademagazine. “Everyone is talking about pilot shortages at the passenger airlines and all the communities that are losing service but they are going to be surprised when what they ordered online isn’t delivered in a timely manner.” Bernstein said small package carriers are expecting to lose a staggering two-thirds of their pilots to attrition in the next year, resulting in route abandonment and downstream layoffs of support employees. The unhappy irony is that the shortage is crippling an industry that is seeing burgeoning demand from the online shopping industry.

“We have talked to a lot of companies and there is one overriding comment,” RACCA Board Chair Tim Komberec told Global Trader. “They have a lot of opportunities for growth but can’t find the pilots to accommodate that growth. The good news is demand is out there.” RACCA blames the 1,500-hour rule for the shortage but it also cited an AOPA study that suggests only about 29 percent of student pilots want a career in aviation.