The nation’s airline industry could be hitting some turbulence, according to a government report that found pilots might be in short supply.
“Recent industry forecasts indicate that the global aviation industry is poised for growth,” said a report Friday from the Government Accountability Office, Congress‘ watchdog arm. “However, stakeholders have voiced concerns that imminent retirements, fewer pilots exiting the military, and new rules increasing the number of flight hours required to become a first officer for an airline could result in a shortage of qualified airline pilots.”
Airline pilots enjoy a relatively low unemployment rate, but that may mean demand for pilots is starting to outstrip supply, the GAO said. Plus, their wages have fallen since a high in 2000, while flight school is becoming more expensive.
“Such costs deter individuals from pursuing a pilot career,” investigators said. “Pilot schools that GAO interviewed reported fewer students entering their programs resulting from concerns over the high costs of education and low entry-level pay at regional airlines.”
Read more: The Washington Times