Business aviation is a dynamic, forward-looking industry long characterized by innovation and a pioneering spirit, so it follows that careers in business aviation are very often highly-skilled, high-paying jobs in the fields of the future. That said, like many other industries, business aviation also increasingly faces a significant challenge in ensuring its future workforce demands can be met.
A recent Boeing study highlights the magnitude of this issue, concluding that over the next 20 years there will be a worldwide requirement for close to 100,000 business aviation pilots, with a commensurate number of maintenance technicians, schedulers and dispatchers, and other necessary personnel to support business aviation operations.
Clearly, business aviation faces a daunting task in meeting those numbers, but this is not simply a matter of finding people to fill jobs. The industry needs to attract qualified professionals, and, equally important, to find innovative ways to retain professionals by helping them develop their skills throughout their careers.
NBAA is confronting this challenge through several far-reaching efforts to help attract, retain and grow tomorrow’s business aviation workforce, including by hosting student-focused “Careers in Business Aviation” days as part of the association’s annual Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE.)
The association also makes available a host of resources to assist companies in developing internship programs, including the NBAA Internship and Career Guide that offers tips to help them start internships, or improve their existing programs. The recently-launched NBAA Mentoring Network helps business aviation professionals grow in their roles within the industry, by fostering a learning dialogue between established industry experts and the next generation of business aviation leaders.
Once a student opts to pursue a career in business aviation, NBAA Charities provides tens of thousands of dollars annually in cash scholarships to help further their aviation education. Significant monetary awards are also available for additional training to advance the careers of those already working in business aviation.
Further initiatives to assist in career advancement include NBAA’s Professional Development Program (PDP) that offers an established curriculum to prepare business aviation professionals for management roles within their companies. NBAA’s accredited Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) Program represents the pinnacle of achievement for these established industry leaders.
NBAA also strongly supports Congressional legislation aimed at promoting the industry’s workforce growth. Examples include those contained in the long-term FAA reauthorization bill recently signed into law: The Securing and Revitalizing Aviation (SARA) Act, providing grants for aviation-workforce education; and H.R. 5701, which supports programs for technical-skills training and apprenticeships.