Until recently, the sharing economy enabled by modern technology has been limited to industries less regulated than aviation such as taxicabs (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar), hotels (Airbnb) and cars (RelayRides). But now the sharing economy is coming to general aviation, in the form of new ways to rent airplanes (OpenAirplane) and systems for sharing expenses and empty seats in Part 91 non-commercial aircraft (AirPooler and Flytenow).
The Department of Transportation’s recent requirement for first officers to have 1,500 hours is taking its toll on air service to some parts of the U.S, a Regional Airline Association spokesman said during a recent hearing on air service to small communities before the U.S. House aviation subcommittee. Brian Bedford, president and CEO of Republic Airways, urged the FAA and Congress to work together to fix the pilot supply challenges created by the new qualification issue by allowing structured credit for more of the logged flight hours required for an air transport pilot certificate.
Speaking Wednesday at the 39th annual Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis, Republic Airways CEO Bryan Bedford called for a fundamental shift in the “model” on which pilot unions negotiate for compensation, characterizing the imbalance of pay between first officers and captains as irrational and counterproductive.
Seemingly bucking the trend suffered by most of the rest of the regional airline industry, Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group has managed to attract a fair share of qualified pilots to accommodate its seemingly unlikely growth. But while speaking Wednesday at this year’s Regional Airline Association Convention in St. Louis, CEO Jonathan Ornstein made certain to ensure no one came away from the briefing with any doubt about his position on the new legislation that requires new hire first officers to carry an air transport pilot certificate.
U.S. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta on Tuesday made his second appearance in three years at the annual Regional Airline Association Convention.
American Eagle’s pilots rejected a concessionary contract proposal from management by a wide margin in late March, thereby ending any chance at flying any of the Embraer E175s American Airlines has ordered. Management promised the pilots the right to fly 60 of the 76-seat jets in return for a pay cap on first officers of $38,000 a year after four years, cuts to per diems and higher health-care premiums.
The shortage of qualified entry-level pilots at the regional airlines hasn’t come as some unexpected phenomenon to the Regional Airline Association. The group has warned for years now that the change in first-officer pilot requirements that mandates an ATP certificate and what it terms an “arbitrary” 1,500 hours of flying time would result in loss of air service to small communities in particular.
The Helicopter Association International (HAI) and the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) will join forces at Quad-A’s 2014 Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit in Nashville on May 5 and 6 to help Army pilots and technicians who want to prepare their careers for the future. Representatives from helicopter operators spanning all sectors of the civilian market will be available to discuss opportunities with pilots and technicians, and meet with qualified candidates. The job fair will be led by Stacy Sheard, a test pilot for Sikorsky Aircraft and 11-year active-duty U.S.
More than 100 Air China pilots have signed an open letter to management complaining of unequal treatment between homegrown flight crew and their expatriate counterparts, according to Chinese state-controlled media. The letter, now circulating on the Internet, alleges that foreign pilots enjoy more desirable schedules and routes as well as higher pay, a circumstance attributed to the desperation of airlines in rapidly expanding air transport markets to fill their cockpits with experienced crewmembers.
China’s great need for airline pilots is well documented, not least by Boeing, which last year estimated that the country’s fast-expanding air transport industry will need some 77,400 pilots through 2032 (plus 93,900 mechanics). According to the airframer, that represents around 40 percent of the overall requirement across the Asia Pacific region over the same period.