The aviation industry is either experiencing a deficit in the supply of cockpit professionals or not offering wages to attract the new generation of pilots. The debate rages on. There is some evidence that educational institutions, both academic and job training, are responding to this need. Here are three encouraging recent developments:
- The Aviation and Aerospace Science Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver and Envoy Air have established a relationship to educate students and funnel the graduates to the carrier. The program is designed to give the prospective real experience with Envoy, as early as their sophomore year. As explained by Kevin Kuhlmann, associate chair of the MSU department:
“This is a pathway, all the way to an end-career position…What you owe them for this opportunity is two years at that airline, as a minimum, and you can move from Envoy Airlines, in a flow-through agreement, up to American Airlines.”
That move up could potentially happen to a graduate within five years. John Colquitt, an Envoy Air pilot, emphasized:
“We need pilots. Bad…You hear pilot shortage – it’s true. We’re feeling it at the regional level, a lot more than the majors are right now. But it’s going to hit the majors as well.”
The collective response of these three pilot training schools suggest that dollars are being spent to train the pilots of the future.