Data obtained from the UK CAA confirms an overall decline of 31% in total Commercial Pilot Licences (CPLs) issued over the four-year period from 2011 to 2015. From a high of 1555 issued in 2011, this number has dropped to 1072 for 2014.
With talk of a looming worldwide pilot shortage whilst aircraft orders and air travel are on the increase, FTA, a UK commercial pilot training school, based in Brighton, has requested statistics from all the Aviation Authorities across Europe, to see just how many commercial pilot licences were issued in recent years in the UK and across Europe. The results were surprising.
Last year, around 4,000 initial Commercial Pilot Licences (fixed wing) or Multi Pilot Licences were issued in the EU and this number seems to be decreasing year on year in the UK, according to the CAA statistics from the last four years. Taking into account licence issues in individual countries, where statistics are available, the UK issued the most licences at 1,072 but 48 % of the licences issued were to non-UK nationals. Most of the EU statistics are available but some countries (especially the smaller ones) were not able to provide statistics, so FTA has made certain assumptive estimations for those countries, based on population.
The current figures might not be enough to meet demand when it’s consider that Boeing, the world’s largest plane manufacturer has estimated that by 2034, there will be a need for 95,000 new commercial airline pilots in the EU alone. This equates to 5,000 pilots a year.
FTA considers this to be quite alarming, considering that airlines are on big recruitment drives. The issue is perfectly illustrated by the fact that one established low-cost carrier alone is looking to hire 600 pilots in the next year. This equates to 15% of the total annual European throughput for just one airline. There is clearly a need to encourage more people to take up pilot training, if the licence issue numbers are to increase to meet demand, as FTA predicts.
Credit : pilotcareernews.com, fta-global.com