Monday, August 21, 2006
where have all the pilots gone?
Not too long ago, the Washington Post published a story talking about the lack of new student pilots. That sparked some discussion on the aviation forums. The basic problem is the pilot population is aging because few new people are entering. There's also a problem with communities shutting down their airports (see, for instance, what's currently going on at Cable Airport), generally after someone builds a subdivision too close to the airport and homeowners complain. Eventually, that lack of pilots filters up to the airline level, raising the airlines' overhead and increasing congestion as more people crowd onto the big airliners instead of taking their own light planes. It's a difficult problem and not one I know how to solve, though I did post a few suggestions in the forum.