Every so often statistics are released detailing the skills shortage in aviation. The decline in the number of qualified pilots and aviation professionals who enter the field each year has already begun to impact the industry, but it’s the South African aviation industry in particular which is facing an epic skills shortage crisis. The ‘brain drain’ which South Africa previously faced in other industries with the loss of engineers, doctors and other highly educated individuals has left the aviation industry gasping for growth.

Here are a few of the stats recently released:

  • By the time 2017 arrives, over 40% of aviation professionals in South Africa will be aged 55 years and above.
  • Air traffic as a whole, worldwide, is set to double by 2030.
  • A 31% growth in passenger flights is expected by 2017, which would be approximately 930 000 000 more flights than in 2012.
  • Globally, roughly 533 000 new commercial airline pilots are needed in order to support the growth of the aviation industry over the next 20 years.
  • Airlines will need to increase their fleet of commercial aircraft from the current 17 000 to 25 000 aircraft.

Why Is South Africa So Badly Affected By The Aviation Skills Shortage?

The aviation industry in South Africa has seen a massive exodus of highly trained aviation specialists who leave the country in search of the greener grass and higher incomes often found in the Middle East and Far East, as well as in Australia. This leaves the South African aviation industry at even more of a disadvantage than our global counterparts.

What Is South Africa Doing?

This loss of skilled professionals, coupled with incredibly slow transformation has prompted the South African Civil Aviation Authority (also known as SACAA) to launch a bursary program in order to address the aviation skills shortage. Launched in March 2014, the bursary program awarded bursaries to aspiring aircraft maintenance technicians, aeronautical engineers and pilots.

Blue Chips Impact on The Aviation industry

With over 18 years of experience, combined with added emphasis on safety, discipline and excellence, Blue Chip Flight School has become a leading authority within the aviation industry. Blue Chip seeks to not only nurture talent and spark passion for aviation, but also to produce world-class pilots.

The aviation industry is one which is under increasing pressure to accommodate its rapid expansion. Despite the shortfall in the number of qualified and competent pilots produced yearly in relation to the number required, Blue Chip forges ahead with unrelenting passion and this is why, ‘our pilots become captains’.