Now that the holiday season is underway, I’ve been reflecting on the past year. One of the things that keeps coming back is the cyclical nature of flight training.
Over the last three years we’ve seen a shortage of instructors, followed by what seemed like the end of airline travel as we know it during the pandemic. And now we have a pilot shortage again!
This past year, several people have asked me about learning to fly for personal reasons, so I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about this:
- Can training pilots for personal flying (both recreation and furthering their business) help smooth the cycles we keep finding ourselves battling?
- How important are personal pilots in supporting the general aviation infrastructure, including keeping airports open?
- What will happen to the cost of everything from maintenance to avgas if we don’t support these personal pilots?
It seems to me that these personal pilots can play an important role in stabilizing the flight training industry. Of course their motivation and goals are very different from pilots looking to make a career at the airlines, and over the next few weeks I’d like to share some ideas I’ve been contemplating about how we can better engage with and support them.
I hope you are enjoying December!
P.S. If you’ve been considering this too, please hit reply and tell me what you think.