PILOT SHORTAGE: CONSEQUENCES OF INACTION
From reduced availability to rising fares, the effects of the pilot shortage are projected to remain for some time. For smaller communities, the impact on travel and the economy is being felt on a larger scale than bigger cities. We asked an industry expert for his insights on what he thinks this means for the future of regional aviation and economic stability.
Without enough pilots, there isn’t enough service. Without enough service, smaller communities become cut off from the larger network. How far will people have to drive to get to a flight? Will businesses rethink where they are located? Will enough pilots be trained before more airports close down? These questions continue to buzz around as the issue persists.
As part of our efforts to stay united with our industry partners in lobbying for change, MHIRJ attended the Regional Airline Association meeting in Washington, D.C. While there, we had an insightful conversation with industry analyst and data expert, Courtney Miller, about what he sees happening down the line if viable solutions are not put into play in a timely manner.
According to Miller, “Regional aviation is like a beating heart connecting communities.” With this in mind, he stressed the need for regulators to take the issue seriously and to implement changes as fast as possible:
THE ECONOMIC IMPACT
If the imbalance of supply and demand is not remedied with a clear path to enlisting more pilots, “The number of small communities losing service will only rise,” says Miller. “The backbone of America is built on smaller communities. There are a lot of small- to medium-sized communities that generate decent economic impact for their states.” This economic impact is being felt by cargo and freight carriers who are seeing a drop in demand. If not rectified, the impact of this downturn will be felt for years to come.
By continuing to have these conversations, we can collectively keep a spotlight on the issue and lobby for critical change with our legislators. Explore WINGSPAN for more conversations and valuable insights from our community.