Finding and Keeping the Best and Brightest in the Cockpit

ALPA has a vested interest in growing competitive airlines that attract the best and brightest pilots. We firmly believe we should do everything within our power to remain the best in the world, because that is a ranking we can’t afford to lose. Unfortunately, there are challenges in our industry that threaten the future of our profession.

Despite there being thousands of qualified pilots available to fly for U.S. airlines, compensation, benefits, quality of life and career progression opportunities at some airlines are inadequate to attract pilots to their ranks. These airlines often blame this on a so-called “pilot shortage.” However, ALPA has long maintained that the airlines struggling to find pilots are those that don’t offer competitive wages, benefits, reasonable working conditions, and a solid career path. We recently released a video emphasizing our position.

Today, ALPA hosted a conference, Airline Pilot Shortage? Myths, Facts and Solutions that brought together aviation stakeholders to discuss the best ways to retain current U.S. airline pilots and attract new recruits. We also launched an updated fact sheet that highlights the current challenges in more detail. 

I joined fellow ALPA leaders and pilots along with airline managers, aviation educators, aircraft manufacturers, and experts from other industry organizations for a rare, in-depth discussion on the solutions needed to ensure that the United States has enough highly trained, professional pilots needed for our industry to grow and thrive.

Throughout the day, panel discussions focused on various stages of the piloting profession and included an open dialogue on issues ranging from education and certification to innovative methods designed to keep qualified pilots in the cockpit.

Today’s collaboration was one step forward, but we all know there is a lot more to do, and we can only be successful if we do it together. To learn more, go to

Categories: Advocacy, Security, Industry