Date: 21 May 2018
There is a hugely exciting outlook for the pilot training industry as we look to inspire and train record numbers of new professional pilots. To help achieve this, it is important that more is done to improve the diversity mix of this new generation.
The greater the number of people we can inspire the better the results will be. You are going to get a much better sports team, for example, choosing 11 from a pool of 1,000 rather than picking from 100 players. We are looking for individuals with aptitudes in teamwork, inclusivity, quick thinking, analytical and communications skills. These skillsets do not belong to just one demographic or gender, which is why we want to inspire the biggest and most diverse group of people using as many different tools as we can.
The issue of attracting new talent into piloting has never been more important. Research suggests that upwards of 30,000 pilots are required each year, for the next five years, to be trained to enter the global market in order to keep the growth plans of the industry in place. What will it mean if we don’t get the 30,000? It means that there will invariably be planes that won’t fly.
There is no point in an airline, or airplane manufacturer for that matter, buying or making new aircraft if there is no one to fly them. The airlines need to showcase through both actions and words that a career as a pilot is an amazing opportunity and we need to ensure that our own efforts are in line with this too. We are getting creative to inspire the next generation by using new tools and channels that have come about due to advancing technologies.
Last year we challenged a group of our graduate engineers to create a portable device to help give an insight into the required skills (and associated thrills) necessary to become a pilot. They created PoDD (Portable Demonstration Device), a portable flight simulator that uses virtual reality to fully immerse the user. This device has been instrumental in ‘opening the door’ to the flight deck at a wide variety of events. The reaction from those, of all ages, who get to try PoDD is always fantastic and extremely positive. What better way to inspire the next generation of pilots than giving them the ability to fly.
Alongside this, social media has given us a direct channel to the younger generation. We can share the incredible lifestyle and benefits that a career as a pilot has to offer with these digital natives - who may have never even considered the option before! It’s an exciting career, it does not necessarily need a lot of selling, but it does need help in terms of making people aware that this profession is open and welcoming to them. If you don’t already why not follow our L3 Airline Academy channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).
To inspire 30,000 new pilots every year for the next five years is possible if we, in the industry, can be creative with the tools available to us today.
Colin Rydon, Vice President of Training, Quality and Compliance