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'Extreme Shortage' of pilots; as the industry grows by 13%

FOX54's Keneisha Deas caught up with a pilot at Wallace State Community College on why we need to fill that gap.

CULLMAN COUNTY, Ala. — We need more pilots. The demand for airline and commercial aviators is soaring to new heights, and faster than any other occupations.

The Department Chair for Aviation at Wallace State Community College, Kyle Putnam, said there is a shortage of pilots. "There's an extreme shortage of pilots right now, so much so that the airline industry is creating flight schools to provide a pipeline of pilots."

"We keep a running list, a waiting list of students that are interested in becoming pilots, and right now we are behind the demand of the need for pilots," added Putnam.

Putman said he's noticed the shortage since 2008."There are many locations around the globe that has a dire need for pilots. Not to mention we have the best office view in the world. We're always looking at different sceneries but the career field is growing."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of airline and commercial pilots is projected to grow 13% from 2020 to 2030, faster than the average for all occupations.

That is why more pilots are needed.

"We have newer equipment. We have both helicopters and airplanes. But we have the ability to satisfy a lot of training needs here from Wallace State," said Putman. "We need students. We need instructors, and we also need more airplanes to fly more and more to get more students through this system to become commercial pilots," added Putman.

For more details on how to apply for the pilot program, click here.

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