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A shortage of pilots? The answer is in the air
Travel » Some say airlines are facing an acute shortfall of pilots, while others aren’t convinced.


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pbeebe@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sltribpaul

At a glance

What the sides say

A shortage is looming because:

New rules mandate that pilots have at least 1,500 hours of flight experience.

Thousands of veteran pilots are closing in on mandatory retirement at age 65.

Revised rules on work schedules and rest periods are forcing commercial carriers to increase their pilot numbers.

Fast-growing carriers in Asia and the Middle East are expanding their fleets and recruiting U.S. pilots with big salaries to fly their new planes.

Fewer Air Force and Navy pilots are leaving the military — for years, a key source of pilots for the airline industry.

There are plenty of pilots because:

Airlines short of pilots can draw from a pool of “several thousand” veteran pilots who were laid off in recent years by carriers trying to cut costs.

Many pilots went abroad to get work, but would return to the U.S. if they were summoned back to their jobs.

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