Airline Pilot Shortage? Report Says It's Not Clear

Posted at: 02/28/2014 10:19 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) - A government watchdog says it's not clear there is a shortage of airline pilots even though regional airlines have reported difficulty finding enough pilots to hire.

The Government Accountability Office, which spent a year studying the issue, says the U.S. airline industry will need to hire 1,900 to 4,500 new pilots annually over the next 10 years.

According to a draft of the GAO report obtained by The Associated Press, there is pool of over 100,000 active pilots not currently working for airlines that carriers might be able to draw from.

The GAO says 11 out of 12 regional airlines have not been able to meet their hiring targets this year, but no major airlines have had similar difficulties. Major airlines generally pay significantly higher salaries than regional carriers.

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