PILOT SHORTAGE: RALLYING THE INDUSTRY
While the current pilot shortage is creating a major impact on regional airlines and the communities they serve, it’s also affecting its partners like airports, suppliers, and MROs like MHIRJ. A number of viable solutions have been brought to light, but it’s up to lawmakers and policymakers to put them into play.
When it comes to lobbying for critical change in the aviation industry, it’s imperative for all players to maintain a united front. We sat down to address the issue with Drew Jacoby Lemos, Vice-President Government Affairs with the Regional Airline Association (RAA), at their recent meeting in Washington, D.C.
What everyone can agree on is that the pilot shortage needs urgent solutions in order to keep communities connected and businesses thriving. However, change can only happen once lawmakers and policymakers are able to acknowledge the pain and frustration and begin addressing the problem.
“We can't solve it ourselves because so much of what we do depends on a cooperative and collaborative relationship with the FAA,” says Jacoby Lemos.
NEW TECHNOLOGY IS ON THE HORIZON
Something else to consider in relation to the pilot shortage is that in order to bring on the next generation of fuel-efficient aircrafts, “We need to have an industry that's robust and vibrant,” he said. These new technologies will play a critical role in accomplishing climate mitigation efforts, but the industry has to be strong enough to support the new technologies and their manufacturers.
As the shortage persists, it will take a lot longer to bring them to market, thus highlighting the urgent need for more pilots. Maintaining a united front must continue in order to effectively lobby for rapid and effective changes moving forward.
The labor shortage needs to remain a top priority at every level. It’s imperative to keep service up and running, to keep communities connected, and to maintain economic stability and quality of life.
All industry stakeholders and the impacted communities need to get involved in order for our collective voices to be heard. In this spirit, MHIRJ recently joined the Rally For Air Service coalition, a group comprised of industry partners, airports, airlines, and concerned citizens uniting for action on the pilot shortage. Find out more at RallyforAirService.org.