Pilot Training – Invest Medicine Hat

Pilot Training


With more pilots retiring than graduating and increased air travel in Asia, a pilot shortage is becoming a real problem. Medicine Hat could be in a position to benefit through pilot training.


Twenty years of rapid economic growth in Asia has bolstered income levels, creating a new wave of demand for air travel from middle-income households while market liberalization has enabled regional low-cost carriers to thrive. The world’s biggest commercial aircraft manufacturer Boeing estimates that more than 100 million new passengers will enter the Asia aviation market annually for the foreseeable future. Amid all this growth, one question looms large: Where are the pilots and engineers going to come from?

At the opening of the world’s biggest pilot-training facility in Singapore on April 18, Airbus chief executive Fabrice Bregier told CNBC that Asia faced a “severe shortage” of well-trained pilots as the region’s demand for air travel skyrockets. He told CNBC the region will need 200,000 commercial pilots over the next 20 years. There are currently 65,000 commercial pilots registered in Asia. Source


  • Sky-high demand for pilots
    • According to Boeing, between now and 2034, Asia will need 226,000 new pilots and 238,000 technicians or roughly 40 percent of the global need.
    • Speaking at the CAPA Americas Aviation Summit last year, Zhihang Chi, Air China’s vice-president and general manager for North America, described the pilot shortage in Asia as “serious” and “severe”.
  • SIA, Airbus team up to open pilot training school
    • When fully operational by 2019, the 9,250 sq m facility at Seletar Aerospace Park will be Airbus’ fourth and biggest training centre. It will train up to 100,000 pilots per year.
    • Airbus predicts the Asia-Pacific region will lead demand for new aircraft, with the in-service fleet growing from around 5,600 aircraft today to 14,000 over the next two decades. To support the expansion, airlines will need to grow crew numbers from more than 65,000 now to almost 170,000.
  • Five reasons pilots are more in demand than ever
    • In Asia especially, demand for well-qualified pilots is exploding, with paydays for those who decide to fly in places like China or India of well over $200,000 a year.
    • In 2007 the government changed the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots from 60 to 65 years old.
  • The coming US pilot shortage is real
    • Too few bright-eyed students are opting for careers in the cockpit, despite the promise of readily available jobs. The crunch is already hitting regional airlines, which are losing increasing numbers of pilots to the major carriers and are not able to fill new pilot training classes. In some cases, regionals have had to park aircraft for lack of pilots.
    • Over the course of a career, a pilot’s pay will often exceed that of an engineer.


Trade Fairs

Canadian Flight Training Facilities

Legislation and Government

Market Reports

  • Canadian Civil UAS Report
    • Since 2008 there has been a threefold increase in Canadian Universities involved in UAS.
    • The number of Canadian companies involved in this sector has also shown more than a three-fold growth (312 versus 88) compared to 2008.
    • The AUVSI U.S. market assessment predicts an overall economic impact of this sector in the twelve year period 2015-2026 to be $US 82 Billion.
  • Airbus Global Market Forecast 2016-2035
    • Identifies the need for in excess of 500,000 new pilots over the next 20 years
  • ATAC International Business Development Strategy
    • Canada has a robust regulatory framework supporting the flight training industry and is highly regarded as one of the best in the world by international airlines. However, we are not very good at marketing and promoting our stellar reputation and safety in flight training to the international market.
    • The Canadian Flight training sector has excess capacity which can easily handle the training and upgrading of skills for the thousands of student pilot candidates on the Indian subcontinent and in Latin America in need of professional pilot training.
    • The current capital upgrades in simulators and aircraft in Canadian Flight Schools are attributed to the influx of International students. International student pilots are the number one priority for the growth of the shrinking Canadian Flight School market.
  • Commercial Flight Training and Simulation Market
    • Globally, the commercial flight training and simulation market is essentially flat.
    • Market growth is effectively limited to Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern airlines.
    • Economic problems have significantly effected the airlines and that effect is likely to become only modestly better.
    • Initial pilot training has declined significantly in North America and Europe because potential students in those regions are not interested in careers as pilots. While there is interest in other parts of the world, costs of training have limited demand.
    • Overall, recurrent pilot training for airlines and business aircraft remains stable. While North American and European demand is declining, Asia-Pacific demand is rising.
    • North American and European companies provide the bulk of advanced pilot training and virtually all simulators.