The airline industry, perhaps more than any other has throughout its history, been subject to cyclic variations in traffic patterns some of which have been quite spectacular. However, these dramatic excursions mask an underlying growth trend, it is documented fact that if a line is drawn from the traffic at the industry’s establishment to the present day it will show a 5-6% per annum growth rate. Let us consider what that means for a moment. If that growth continues – and there is little reason to suppose that it won’t – then in 10 years twice as many people will be flying compared with today’s traffic and five years after that 15 times more.
To help meet that demand the world’s aircraft manufacturers have published order backlogs for around 8,000 aircraft due for delivery over the next 10 years. While some of these aircraft are for fleet replacement a significant majority will lead directly or indirectly to the world’s air transport network expanding. These aircraft will require pilots and those pilots will require training.
Training from initial schooling through advanced ratings and onwards to the recurrent training that is part and parcel of the pilot’s profession.