The study of aviation is a huge field that is both professional and expensive in nature. This perception is based on the nature of tasks that revolve around the whole field, i.e. in terms of performance and adaptability. For this paper, I, as a student in the field of aviation, will enumerate and explain the reasons describing why I would like to work as a pilot in future. The reasons will be analyzed from my own personal point of view, and because of what I have come to learn as an aviation student. Furthermore, I believe that I will have a good future in piloting, as it has always been my desire and dream to attain such an achievement.
Reasons for Choosing Piloting
The contributions from the airline industry play a critical role in the blossoming economies of various countries as the sector provides global mobility and connectivity in the transportation of passengers and cargo. The expansion of the aviation economies means that individuals from the smaller communities will have the opportunity to follow career paths in the industry as well. That is why for an aspiring pilot, the future looks bright since, despite requiring an enormous financial commitment, it is a life changing decision (Cento, 2008). That is possible because numerous forecasts about the industry reveal an expected growth in the global aviation industry. It is evident with the recent move by the airlines around the world to recall their remaining furloughed pilots, thus creating opportunities for new hires shortly.
Challenges Faced by the Industry
However, the significant turmoil being experienced in the airline industry, including terrorist attacks, economic recessions, several bankruptcies and mergers is likely to curtail the efforts of those aspiring to become pilots in future. The issue is alarming that the aviation stakeholders now raise the looming insufficient supply of available and qualified pilots as a result of the numerous changes to the qualifications for the airline pilots, growing perceptions of fewer people enrolling for pilot training, imminent retirements, and more pilots exiting the military (Belobaba et al., 2015). Consequently, such developments are likely to challenge the capability of the airline industry to fulfill the long-term demand for pilots.
Various studies attribute to the fact that there is a looming pilot shortage in the aviation sector of both regional and domestic carriers. There are insufficiently qualified pilots, which is attributable to the dwindling employment rates that are a direct indicator of a labor shortage in the sector. In addition to this, there is a growing decrease in earnings for the pilots as well as other professionals in the aviation sector, which means that the demand for pilots is yet to outstrip the supply for pilots (Morrison & Winston, 1995).
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However, one is tempted to ask where exactly this problem lies. To answer such a question, one should understand that the stories of the pilot shortage are all over the media, begging the question of where exactly is the pinch being felt. Hence, the problem is in either the major carriers or their regional affiliates. Significantly, the rationale is as follows. When it comes to the major carriers, they are awash with a surplus of qualified pilots to choose from, and they are in a position to get pilots from the regional carriers or the military (Cento, 2008). For the major carriers, there is no challenge as the result of the looming retirement n the aviation industry. It is possible because there is enough supply of senior experienced airline pilots due to the massive layoff and retirements and quitting due poor work conditions in the previous year, especially at at the regional level.
However, there is every reason to worry for the aspiring pilots since their case is complicated. There is no clear indication of more employment for new hires in the professional to fly major airlines. That is what differentiates the challenge of pilots in the major carriers and the regional carriers. At the local level, there is mainly subcontracting of the pilots on behalf of the major carriers. The major issue of the regional carriers that is likely to influence the shortage of pilots in the industry is the sorrow state regarding pay and working conditions (Morrison & Winston, 1995).
In comparing the starting salary of around 20,000 dollars per year with the course fee that pilots pay for their studies, it is clear that there are many hidden challenges facing the piloting profession. That, in addition to the small rate of attrition at major carriers and limited hiring in the sector for pilots, explains why there is a mass exodus from the piloting profession. That negatively influences those aspiring to join the profession. That happens because pilots will see no value for their money having spent enormous amounts in primary training and college education only to end up with meager wages that leave one at the poverty level for several years. Further, there are no indications of the replacement pool for the current pilots in the industry as evident with any increments in the salaries and benefits packages (Cento, 2008).
Another issue that the aviation sector’s piloting branch experiences is the availability of the pilot job opportunities in the industry. Various ideas about career opportunities in the airline industry indicate that in future, there is a likelihood of the industry experiencing a shortage in the number of pilots due to accelerating costs of pilot education and training. High costs prevent individuals from pursuing a pilot career and as a result, pilot schools report a lower record of students entering their programs, with most of them citing the high costs of education and low entry-level pay at regional airlines (Morrison & Winston, 1995).
Another future worry for the piloting profession and, probably, the most important one is the fact that pilots, as well as planes, become old-fashioned. The rationale is based on the fact that every individual is accustomed to planes, and, hence, they look for more technological advancements. The effects of technologic advancements, science, social values, climate, and government among others are likely to contribute to the pilots becoming obsolete. The rapid acceleration of breakthroughs technologically threatens the very existence of pilots in the aviation industry. One can witness a growing number of innovations in autonomous systems or drones and unmanned aerial vehicles taking over the total aircraft space (Cento, 2008). hat is particularly evident in the navy, air force, and the Marine Corps among others making use of the drone technology.
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There is also tremendous growth in the artificial intelligence acting as human beings. They are capable of carrying out research, collecting data and interacting with others meaning that they can be pilots. That will be made possible by using voice recognition devices and technologies in enabling the artificial intelligence’s interaction with humans. More and more advanced materials are developed in readiness to be embedded in the computers systems that AI use so that they facilitate the signaling of the aircraft components such as temperature on real time basis as in the case of pilots. Such explosive developments are a threat to the future existence of ‘human’ pilots (Belobaba et al., 2015). There are possibilities of the use of the levitation technology in the domestic fleets. With all these technologies, the future of pilot professional is at risk.
With these numerous challenges, the Federal Aviation Administration has been forced to come in by enforcing stringent hiring standards, especially for entry-level pilots in the effort to ensure the sector does not continue experiencing the insufficient number of the pilots. With the creation of many job opportunities as a result of the growth in the regional aviation sector, the FAA consults with the all airlines so that they lowered the experience and flight time minimums for the new hires in the piloting profession to allow more pilots to fill up the slot either left by existing pilots or created by the growth of the sector (Cento, 2008). In addition, the increasing number of aircraft accidents forces the FAA to consider coming up with laws and regulations that manage the human resource activities and functions in that there will be higher flight time as well as additional certification for those new in the industry.
From the above future challenges in the piloting branch of the aviation sector, there are critical elements that come to the front. These include employee benefits and compensation, performance management, employee relations, and labor unions. Regarding labor unions, it is critical that in future, the existing or new pilot unions be useful in their champion of the pilot needs and the global airline sector. It is critical for associations such as Allied Pilots Association (APA), the Independent Pilots Association (IPA), and the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) to come out strong in their fight for the needs of the pilots. This must be done so that the piloting profession can regain its lost glory as one of the best and loved jobs in the world (Belobaba et al., 2015). That will include addressing the salary, motivation, training, education fee, and working hours among other elements.
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Regarding employee benefits and compensation, it is necessary that the piloting profession comes up with basic salaries and compensation benefits to avoid the issue of other airlines paying their pilots handsomely and others offering lower costs and in the process causing anxieties and inequalities (Fallows, 2002). The impact of this is that the industry will operate in a coherent environment, as there will be no cases of barriers to entry into the profession. There is also need for stringent performance management policy to ensure that all the new hires are in a position they can get in touch with the employer through collaboration (Fallows, 2002). Employee motivation should be the key priority for the players in the aviation industry as it results in productive and best performing employees as well as offering extra training opportunity for those not performing well through their duties (Lumpe, 2008). The Human Resource Managers also get the chance to assess work-related issues.
To sum up: the paper is significant as it enumerates in detail the reasons as to why I would like to work as a pilot in future. Despite the fact that there would be a number of challenges to attain my dream of being a pilot, I am dedicated and ready to face the challenges ahead. The primary reason that drives me to dream of being a pilot is the prosperity of economies in the transportation of passengers and cargoes. Fundamentally, fore me as an aspiring pilot, the future seems bright, as it is a changing decision. It is true as studies show that there is an expected growth in the global aviation industry, thus creating opportunities for new hires shortly.