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Pilot summit seeks solutions to pilot shortfall

Nov. 12, 2012, Daytona, Fla. - Representatives of 14 U.S. major airlines and regional carriers joined Embry-Riddle staff and faculty today to address a projected professional pilot shortage facing the aviation industry as part of a daylong Pilot Supply Summit at the Daytona Beach Campus.


November 12, 2012
By Carey Fredericks

Uniting key aviation leaders from United, JetBlue, American and other
airlines with the world’s largest aerospace and aviation focused
academic institution, the goal is to discuss and develop approaches that
will best address the impending shortage of qualified pilots.
Discussions will help quantify the issue, identify the primary causes
and define Embry-Riddle’s role in supporting a solution.

Recent
reports, including one by Boeing, forecast nearly 460,000 pilots and
more than 600,000 aircraft maintenance technicians will be needed
globally during the next 20 years. U.S. industry experts say the
expected increase in pilot retirements and next year’s stricter pilot
qualification standards could significantly impact domestic carriers.

“The
new rules regarding first officer qualifications make it imperative
that Embry-Riddle, as the leader in professional pilot education, join
the leaders of the airline industry finding joint solutions to the pilot
supply problem,” said Dr. Tim Brady, Dean of Embry-Riddle’s College of
Aviation at the Daytona Beach Campus. “It is not a future problem; it is
upon us now.”

Embry-Riddle’s more than 100,000 alumni are
currently employed worldwide in roles in the industry ranging from
pilots and air traffic control operators to airline and airport
managers. More major airlines hire alumni from Embry-Riddle than any
other collegiate aviation program.

The university, which has the
nation’s largest undergraduate Aeronautical Science program, also
offers a Masters of Aeronautical Science and a Ph.D. in Aviation as well
bridge programs and employment partnerships with airlines such as
Delta, ExpressJet, American Eagle, JetBlue and Cape Air.

“The
need for qualified pilots in sufficient numbers has never been greater
in this country,” said the summit’s moderator and Cape Air President
& COO Dave Bushy. “Under the leadership of Embry-Riddle, we all have
the opportunity to come up with ways to energize young people
interested in aviation and to provide them structured pathways toward
their goals.”

Last month, a meeting of airline representatives
took place at Embry-Riddle’s Prescott, Ariz., campus. Participants
examined how the shortage could affect regional airlines, how airline
closures impact supply and salaries of incoming pilots. Discussion
points from that meeting are incorporated into today’s summit, which is
not open to the public or media.