In RCAF Today 2019, we examine personnel retention, fighter procurement, future aircrew training and more!
Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, welcomed the passing of his Private Members Motion M-177 in the House of Commons on Nov. 28.
Fuhr tabled the motion to draw attention to Canada’s looming pilot shortage and to call upon the Standing Committee of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities to study the issue and make recommendations on a way forward.
Despite having the third-largest aerospace sector in the world, generating nearly 30 billion in annual revenue and supporting 211,000 direct and indirect jobs, Fuhr says Canada has lost the ability to generate the pilots it needs today or that it will require tomorrow.
“Estimates are that Canada will need 7,000 to 10,000 new pilots by 2025, resulting in a projected shortage of at least 3,000 pilots, given our current production rate,” said Fuhr.
“Some of the biggest challenges to pilot production in Canada are the high cost of training for new commercial pilots, the low starting salaries, and an industry that has evolved a non-linear career path,” he said.
Fuhr noted that the industry also needs more avionics techs, flight attendants, assemblers, air traffic controllers, managers, machinists and engineers, and a minimum of 5,300 new aircraft mechanics by 2025 to keep up with growth and retirements.
Fuhr said the motion received unanimous, all party support in the House of Commons because the problem is being felt in all regions of the country.
“Aviation connects Canada and Canadians in ways no other form of transportation does or can. Our country’s economic prosperity will be highly influenced by the health and well-being of the Canadian aviation sector, and it is my hope that by studying the issue the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities will be able to determine the most effective way to support our Canadian flight schools and pilot production in Canada,” he said.
“I want to thank my colleagues for supporting the motion and for ensuring the issue receives the attention it requires,” he concluded.