Airlines, Embry-Riddle Examine Projected Pilot Shortage

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Pilot Supply Summit aims to find joint solutions in aviation industry, education and training.

“It (pilot shortage) is not a future problem; it is upon us now.”
-- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University College of Aviation Dean (Daytona Beach Campus) Dr. Tim Brady

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.

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.

About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is a nonprofit, independent institution offering more than 40 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts and Sciences, Aviation, Business and Engineering. Embry-Riddle educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., and through the Worldwide Campus with more than 150 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The university is a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and, and find expert videos at

Media Contact
Melanie Hanns
Director, University Public Relations
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
600 S. Clyde Morris Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Office: (386) 226-7538
Cell: (386) 283-0753

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Melanie Hanns, Director of University Public Relations
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