Possible pilot shortage raises safety concerns

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

A U.S. safety official says an industry forecast that nearly half a million new airline pilots will be needed worldwide over the next 20 years raises concern that airlines may hire lower caliber pilots as they struggle to fill slots.

Boeing forecasts that as global economies expand and airlines take deliveries of tens of thousands of new commercial jetliners, 460,000 new pilots will be needed worldwide between now and 2031, including 69,000 in the North America, mostly in the U.S.

John Allen, the Federal Aviation Administration's director of flight services, told The Associated Press he's concerned a pilot shortage could result in airlines hiring pilots who are technically qualified, but who don't have "the right stuff."

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