Pilot Shortage Task Group Scam

The MDOT – Michigan Department of Transportation Pilot Shortage Task Group Scam is explained here. The MDOT Pilot Shortage Task Group Scam, Fiasco & Boondoggle details are addressed by asking a a few simple question: How did this bogus project even start? Is it necessary for Michigan taxpayers. Read on for more details.

MDOT Lead Poisoning Folly – Table of Contents

Here is a brief Table of Contents (ToC) for documenting the MDOT Lead Poisoning Folly  and the supporting Pages in an index-outline form to show that MDOT has consistently done and continues to do the wrong thing(s), even when the opportunity appears:

Tell MDOT to STOP poisoning our children with 100LL leaded aviation fuel NOW!
Tell Governor Whitmer to STOP MDOT from lead poisoning our children NOW!

MDOT Pilot Shortage Task Group Scam Description from State Documents

A very vague description of the MDOT Pilot Shortage Task Group Scam can be extracted from the Michigan Aeronautics Commission, Minutes of Meeting [pdf] and meeting presentation [pdf], held  at the Yankee Air Museum [Wikipedia] located on Willow Run Airport [Wikipedia] [YIP], in City of Ypsilanti|Ypsilanti Township [Wikipedia] [Pure] [Real], Michigan on May 23, 2018:

MDOT Director Trout spoke about the pilot shortage, noting accounts in various articles as to what the problem is:

  • The aviation industry [NOTE: the term ‘industry’ is used] continues to experience global shortages in the number of certified pilots.
    • In 20 years, an estimated 117,000 new pilots will be needed.
    • The projected shortage of airline pilots in the U.S. is expected to increase over 2,000 by 2025, compared to the recorded pilot deficit of 155 in 2016.
    • This affects both airlines and businesses, as well as the aircraft maintenance profession.

The mitigating circumstances as to why this so called problem is happening were enumerated:

  • Reasons for the shortage:
    • The high cost of training, students are responsible for securing their own FAA credentials. More than $100,000 may be spent just for flight training and education.
    • A series of tragic accidents in the U.S. that resulted in Congressional action raising the minimum number of flight hours from 250 to 1,500 total hours to qualify for a first officer position.
    • Many pilots reaching retirement age over the next few years, leaving a huge gap of expertise.

After reviewing what sounds like practically non-existent research, perhaps just reading the National Enquirer, as there is no other basis mentioned for this MDOT project other than informally reading some fun aviation articles, a call for action was taken:

  • Director Trout recommended and proposed that the Commission:
    • Establish a task group to study and provide a report to address the pilot shortage issue, chaired by the Commission chairperson.
    • Engage representatives of the aviation community, state agencies and industry representation from airlines, airport, associations and consultants.
    • Provide a report to the Commission within six months that recommends what the state can do to address this problem.

After considerable discussion and based on Director Trout’s recommendation, Chairman VanderVeen announced the establishment of a task group to study the pilot shortage issue, to develop recommendations for action, and provide a report to the Commission within six months that recommends what the state can do to impact and address the problem.  The task group will be led by Chairman VanderVeen.

Chairman VanderVeen entertained a motion for the establishment of the task group as presented. The motion was moved by Commissioner Kavalhuna and seconded by Commissioner Isabelle [a pilot withUnited Airlines]. All voted in favor [surprise].

Chairman VanderVeen asked if anyone would like to make a public comment. One of the comments by Kyle Lewis [Great Lakes] [Michigan], AOPA, a Special Interest Industry Lobbyist group, commented not only is the pilot shortage an airline pilot shortage, but also a general aviation/recreational pilot shortage and asked that this be something the task group look at as well. Mr. Lewis offered AOPA’s resources to serve on the task group.

WOW! A single brief mention by a Special Interest or Industry Lobbyist group to spend Michigan Taxpayer money is all that is needed here to allocate State of Michigan Taxpayers hard earned money and resources on such a ridiculous endeavor! Amazing, shocking, appalling, and very troubling news for Michigan taxpayers regarding what seems to be a typical MDOT pattern of behavior or modus operandi, wasting taxpayers money!

Based on the copious amount of input from Director Trout, the MDOT AERO – Pilot Shortage Task Group was formed with the following members:

The only direction provided to the mostly Special Interest, and Industry Lobbyist group, was a vaguely defined and basically open [useless] statement to do anything the members find interesting [and fun]: “Provide a report to the Commission within six months that recommends what the state can do to address this problem.” The group was comprised of one third (1/3) or 5 of 15 MDOT members (33%), and two thirds (2/3) or 10 of 15 are representing Special Interest and Industry Lobbyists directly (66%).

It appears that only two (2) might be unbiased and not belong to a Special Interest or Industry Lobbyist group, e.g. the (MVAA) & (MTIA) reps, but there is no way really to determine the facts due to rampant favoritism, cronyism, and nepotism in MDOT.

On July 2, 2018, three months later, the task group created a [very lame] Questions & Answers document for additional information on the pilot shortage, with input from Special Interests and Industry Lobbyists, wow, that’s a surprise! It laughingly sounds like a junior high grief counseling session because “Mikey lost his puppy”, complete with the five stages to rebuild a shattered life, e.g. impact (denial), chaos, adapting, equilibrium, and transformation! What a complete joke and insult to the taxpayers of Michigan!

It’s now 2019, many months later, and there is still no mention of a business plan, no goals or objectives, no detailed project plan, no milestones, no detailed deliverables, no resource requirements, no demonstrable measure of success, and NO mention of why this is being done and what the ROI is for the taxpayer or the State of Michigan! And, of course, there is no actionable deliverable useful to the taxpayer or the SoM anywhere to be seen.

The Real Question: Why Does MDOT Think This is a State of Michigan or a Taxpayer Problem?

So, let’s take a step back to examine the motivation for establishing this ridiculous task force and what it might mean to the State of Michigan as a business entity and then what it might mean to the taxpayers of the State of Michigan, this is all in light of statewide aviation lead poisoning  and crumbling roads. The first four questions any reasonable citizen might ask:

  • Is the State of Michigan vulnerable to any damage or neglect in any way due to a pilot shortage if one really exists?
  • Are Taxpayers vulnerable to any damage or neglect in any way to a pilot shortage?
  • Is a pilot shortage a new phenomenon or emergency for the State of Michigan or Taxpayers of the State of Michigan?
  • Are the State of Michigan or Taxpayers vulnerableto any damage or neglect from a general aviation or recreational pilot shortage?

The bottom line answer to all four of these simple basic questions is emphatically a systemic resounding NO! There is no part of any pilot shortage that affects the State of Michigan or Taxpayers in a way that this ridiculous, pathetic, wasteful, completely biased, Special Interest and Lobbyist based task force can realistically address, alleviate, or can even recommend anything new or useful that some of brightest minds in the country and even the world have been addressing for over forty, yes over 40 years!

Seems the rest of the U.S.A and the World are doing just fine without another MDOT Clown Patrol! This IS clearly an industry problem, NOT a Taxpayer or State of Michigan problem at all!

It might be also useful to ask is why this MDOT study seems to have a higher priority than the protecting the Health, Safety, and Welfare of vulnerable populations from lead poisoning or building and maintaining better roads? Here are the top MDOT questions:

  • Why is this a higher priority than building and maintaining better roads?
  • Why is this higher priority than eliminating lead poisoning of vulnerable populations
  • Why is this more important than planning future budget for shutting down many unneeded airstrips and cleaning up (environmental remediation) any of the ~215 existing contaminated Non-Commercial airstrips and their surrounding schools and neighborhoods such as Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2 airstrip?
  • Why isn’t the State of Michigan taking care of facilities or resources the state already has and that taxpayers are paying dearly for?

Let’s take a very brief look and examine some informational details readily available to the general public, the esteemed Michigan Air Commission (MAC), and the newly formed and now world famously renowned Pilot Shortage Task Group (PSTG).

What Have Industry Experts Already Said and How Old Is This Really New Problem?

From a military perspective: the Air Force has suffered serious pilot shortages no fewer than six times since its founding in 1947 — in the early 1950s, the late 1960s, the late 1970s, the mid-1980s, the late 1990s, and the early 2000s, according to official records, experts, and news reports. This represents a historically well known, cyclical pattern of pilot overages and pilot shortages within the armed services.

From a Commercial Operator perspective: Last 40 years saw two major hiring booms and one prolonged slump. 1985 – 1990: High demand for Pilots. 1996 – 2000: Post-recession rebound. 2000 – 2013: Decreased Pilot demand. Primary driver for hiring in late 20th century is growth. Since 2013, demand for Pilots has increased, while the supply of Pilots is decreasing, but is competitive market driven and completely manageable. Just follow the money!

See Cyclic 40 Year Aviation Demand, which covers these topics, and more, in a 40 year timeline with supporting detail, facts, and references, not just some random mention of fun aviation articles for the MDOT gang to review, meet back at the clubhouse, and wax philosophic! All at the taxpayers expense.

What Are Industry Experts Saying Now?

In the Spring 2017 issues of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) Alumni magazine Lift, the article The Pull of the Pilot Shortage discusses the perceived pilot shortage. “Depending upon who you talk to, there is no pilot shortage,” says Tim Brady, interim chancellor at Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach [DB] Campus and former dean of the College of Aviation.

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s (GAMA) 2016 General Aviation Statistical Databook (pdf) reports there are 143,991 active pilots under the age of 65 with Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificates. Meanwhile, The latest Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook  (press release) predicts 206,000 new pilots will be needed overall for North America over the next 20 years, by 2038, that’s ~10,300 yearly.

Additionally, the 2018 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook, a well respected industry forecast of personnel demand, projects that 790,000 new civil aviation pilots, 754,000 new maintenance technicians, and 890,000 new cabin crew will be needed to fly and maintain the world fleet over the next 20 years. The forecast is inclusive of the commercial aviation, business aviation, and civil helicopter industries.

BTW: the Boeing Outlook always includes not just Airline Pilot, but also Aircraft Dispatcher, Air Traffic Controller, Aviation Maintenance Technician, and Flight Attendant. MDOT does not seem to care or factor all job descriptions into their study for some reason. In any event, none of these potential MDOT job descriptions of interest are relevant to the economic recovery of Michigan and are discussed further in the section re Michigan Jobs.

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) [wikipedia] International, the largest airline pilot union in the world, has consistently and repeatedly stated publicly that there is no pilot shortage in the United States. According to its 2017 position paper, We Keep America Flying, (Press Release) (pdf) “More than 25,500 [pilot] certificates have been issued since July 2013. This rate of issuance continues to exceed the most optimistic pilot forecast.” Furthermore, ALPA maintains that small community, air-service [regional] challenges are due to economics, not to pilot supply.

But Brady cautions: “ALPA is right from a numeric and statistical standpoint, but I don’t think it’s a numbers game. I think it’s a quality game.” The term quality simply means better benefits and pay as described below.

The ALPA article Future of the Pilot Profession endorses the same thoughts and highlights many important points including:

  • The facts are clear—there is no pilot shortage in the United States. The annual number of airline transport pilot certificates issued remains strong. In fact, more than 25,500 certificates have been issued since July 2013. This rate of issuance continues to exceed the most optimistic pilot forecast.
  • An airline pilot shortage is NOT responsible for small community air service [regional] challenges. Air service to small communities is impacted by economics [better pay and benefits], not pilot supply. In fact, access to and from many small communities has increased since 2012. Newer and larger aircraft have also increased the number of seats available in many small communities.
  • While the airlines that have increased pay, benefits, and quality of life, have had no difficulty hiring qualified pilots, many regional airlines still offer first-year salaries below $30,000. Basic economics should drive up these salaries if these airlines want to remain competitive in the U.S. market.
  • All U.S. regional airlines should follow the example of those that have improved pay, benefits, quality of life, and flow-through programs and have as a result experienced greater success in hiring and retaining qualified pilots.
  • In 2016, ALPA initiated an effort with other aviation industry organizations (Aviation Works 4 U) to jointly promote aviation professions, including air traffic controller, aircraft dispatcher, flight attendant, pilot, and aircraft maintenance technician.

ALPA also advises Regional Airlines, and the Regional Airline Association (RAA), an Industry Lobbyist group,  How the U.S. Airline Industry Can Attract New Pilots and Serve Small and Rural Communities with a fact-sheet (pdf).

Universities such as Purdue, also have an excellent approach, and certainly eye quality over quantity as they try to address global pilot demand.

Some studies show that demand or shortages exist for the many job titles including air traffic controller, aircraft dispatcher, flight attendant, pilot, and aircraft maintenance technician. Not just pilot. So why aren’t these job titles included or even mentioned in the Special Task Force goals. Again, as we’ll see later, any of these job titles including Aircraft Dispatcher, Airline Pilot, Air Traffic Controller, Aviation Maintenance Technician, and Flight Attendant aren’t strategic to any job growth in Michigan and don’t even show up [on the radar], excuse the pun, in studies available for the South East Michigan or the entire State of Michigan for that matter.

The Detroit News article Surge in Airline Hiring Boosts Interest in Aspiring Pilots (March 15, 2018) reports that American Airlines CEO Doug Parker believes the industry will cope. “Economics is going to take care of this, and I think that’s what is happening now,” Parker says. “The (flight) schools are starting to fill up with people who realize, ‘If I can get myself to 1,500 hours (the minimum flight hours needed to get an airline-pilot license), I can be assured of a career as a pilot.’” Smaller [regional] airlines in the U.S. are struggling with a shortage that will continue as they lose pilots to the bigger carriers, which in turn will need to replace thousands of retiring pilots over the next few years.

So, the competition for a small supply and a large demand, e.g. capitalism at its best, begins with Airlines, Flight Schools Try to Lure Pilots with Cheaper – or Free – Training (February 9, 2018). The founder of Epic Flight Academy in Florida  states: “So in our opinion it’s not a pilot shortage, it’s a funding or finance shortage, the inability for young people to be able to afford training.” Of course, this is really no different than the cost a Four-Year College degree that everyone across the nation faces. If you want the big money get the big education and big training that is commensurate with the requirements of the big position.

This realization is hitting other airlines and flight schools too, as growing competition across the world for a shrinking pool of trained pilots pushes up salaries and prevents carriers from operating at full capacity.

Again, pilot Shortages based on supply & demand are definitely NOT a NEW problem, having been discussed by industry Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and government officials for over 40 years. The topic is discussed in more depth in the timeline covering the last 40 years in the Section Cyclic 40 Year Aviation Demand.

So, what are concerned industries doing with the latest round of ‘high demand’ and ‘low supply’ of aviation personnel?

Operators are Creating Their Own Pipelines for Personnel

The Major Air Carriers, or Operators, as Boeing calls them, seen here ranked by 2015 Airline Passengers Volume was as follows:

  1. American Airlines 201,249,127
  2. Delta Air Lines 179,382,874
  3. Southwest Airlines 144,574,882
  4. United Airlines 140,369,000

And Air Cargo World lists the 2015 top 50 cargo airlines [wikipedia] and rates carriers by Tonnage (000’s) and the top 2 are:

  1. Federal Express 7,127 tons
  2. United Parcel Service 4,240 tons

Many believe that Pilot-hungry airlines are raiding flight schools— creating a shortage of instructors to train the next generation as reported by The Washington Post. Here are examples how the Major Air Cargo Carriers and Operators are creating their own pipeline of employees out of economic necessity.

Of course, nobody seems to know what Amazon Air (nee Amazon Prime Air) is doing yet, still very new Amazon Air could purchase another 20 or even more Boeing 767s over the next three years [html] [AirCargoWorld] [CNET] [CVGPrimeAirHub][InvestoPedia][jobs] [Wikipedia] [drone jobs] [Wikipedia] [PlaneSpotters] [PopSci] [YouTube].

#1 FedEx

FedEx Express Announces Purple Runway– A FedEx Pathways Program. MEMPHIS, Tenn. April 2, 2018 — FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), announced today Purple Runway – A FedEx Pathways Program, an industry leading pilot development program designed to produce the pilots of tomorrow.

In an effort to recruit the best aviators in the industry over the coming years, FedEx Express created Purple Runway – A FedEx Pathways Program to address the need to support the airline and its feeder operators with a pipeline of highly trained and qualified aviators. Additionally, FedEx will use special bonuses in an effort to keep pilots from retiring and retain their services.

#2 UPS

Pilot shortage 2018: UPS creates new training program to land talent. For now, UPS isn’t yet having trouble attracting applicants, UPS spokesman Jim Mayer said. However, for the smaller regional airlines that serve companies like UPS and other major carriers, things are more up in the air. With demand for pilots expected to triple over the next decade, the Regional Airline Association (RAA), a lobbyist group, is predicting a worsening pilot shortage based on supply and demand, this means the ‘sky is falling‘ because it will cost regional airlines more money to compete, certainly not a taxpayer problem here.

UPS employs about 2,800 pilots to fly its 245 airplanes. Two-thirds of those pilots are based out of Louisville International Airport (SDF), the third busiest cargo airport in the country behind only UPS’s other hub in Anchorage, Alaska (ANC), and FedEx’s base in Memphis, Tennessee (MEM).

The new UPS system is a training program designed to entice new pilots to fly for UPS. Pilots first complete a year-long internship with UPS, and then they can enter the three-year FlightPath training program. The Epic-Ameriflight Pathway Program– Epic Flight Academy training is run by Ameriflight, a regional carrier in Texas. UPS itself will also be investing $10 million per unit for several new flight simulators [PressRelease] for training and certification on new aircraft. BTW: training is considered part of the normal cost of doing [aviation] business, nothing new.

#1 American Airlines

American Airlines Announces New Program to Recruit Next Generation of Pilots with Launch of Cadet Academy (pdf). The new American Airlines tagline reads “It takes ambition to become a professional pilot. If you have the passion, Cadet Academy provides everything else.”

#2 Delta Airlines

 Delta propels next generation of pilots through innovative career paths. Delta is launching the Delta Propel Pilot Career Path Program to identify, select and develop the next generation of pilots. This industry leading program complements the traditional, existing paths to becoming a Delta pilot and has three main areas of focus — college, company and community. This three-pronged approach will help Delta support future aviators as well as current Delta employees who have a passion for aviation and strong interest in becoming a Delta pilot.

Initial Delta partner universities include:

Wester Michigan University WMU has gotten into the fray as well. One of the SoM Special Commission Members Teaches classes at WMU and should be aware of the existing WMU Aviation activity and be able to leverage that activity to save Michigan taxpayers dollars that are better used for eliminating lead poisoning of schools and communities from leaded 100LL aviation fuel and building and maintaining better roads. Here is a recent WMU news item: Aviation partners with Delta [html] to boost airline’s pilot ranks  [html] | WMU News| Western Michigan University  (WMU) [WMUDelta].

#3 Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines appears to be one of the most active, visible, and prolific Operators (carriers) with a media presence offering many employee and customer perks, benefits, and support mechanisms. [Bloomberg][Facebook][Forbes][Fortune][LinkedIn][SouthwestCargo][SouthwestHeart][SouthwestMedia][Twitter][Wikipedia][Youtube].

SWA.PilotCredentials.com– Southwest Airlines provides the requirements for Southwest Airlines Flight Instructor and Southwest Airlines Pilot, along with a list of frequently asked questions.

Southwest Airlines offers the Campus Reach program that identifies and engages future Southwest Employees at an early age, hopefully inspiring an interest in a career in aviation described in Careers at Southwest| Job opportunities in Southwest, and also Pilots & Flight Operations jobs| Pilots & Flight Operations jobs at Southwest.

Home – The Southwest Airlines Community (SWAC) – Southwest Airlines Community – to share stories, exchange knowledge, and find inspiration from our members.

Adopt a Pilot– Southwest Airlines – At Southwest Airlines, they’re committed to bringing America’s future leaders unique learning opportunities by committing our resources and time to inspire students and help them define, articulate, and plan for future success.

Their award winning Adopt-A-Pilot program was introduced in 1997 as a supplementary way to educate students through aviation-themed activities related to Science, Geography, Math, Writing, and other core subjects.

From February through May of each year, students in more than 1,500 classrooms across the country will “adopt” Southwest Airlines Pilots, giving our passionate aviators opportunities to mentor students in and around the fifth grade level. As part of the Adopt-A-Pilot program, students will also research careers and further develop life skills, while the importance of staying in school is reinforced. Southwest Airlines is pleased to offer these opportunities at no cost to the participating schools.

Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) is the sole bargaining unit for the more than 9,400 Pilots of Southwest Airlines. Southwest Pilots are leaders in aviation industry productivity and are the world’s leading experts on flying the Boeing-737. Southwest Airlines operates a growing fleet of the 737-700, 737-800, and 737-MAX.

Here is the New (and improved) home to Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPAFamily). Southwest Airlines Pilots Re-Elect Captain Jon Weaks as Union President.

Internal Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) Memo – Industry Pilot Demand (pdf), December 2017.

Internal Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA) Memo –The Pilot Profession: Supply, Pay, and a Look Ahead to the Next Contract Cycle (pdf), March 2018.

Presented by Captain Hank Ketchum [LinkedIn], Chairman SWAPA Economic, Financial Analysis &  Industry Research Committee (EFARC), +1-214-722-4202, efairc@swapa.org, Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA),  [SWAPAFamily][FaceBook].

#4 United Airlines

Inside United Airlines’ Flight Training Center [html], at nearly half a million square feet, this facility is one of the world’s largest airline training hubs. All of United’s 12,000 pilots come through for initial training and return every nine months to stay up to date on flight procedures and safety protocols. The campus has 31 simulators, each costing $15 million to $20 million. And United plans to have a total of 40 in the next 12 to 18 months. Pilots must complete training in the simulators before flying in real planes.

The United Airlines – United Career Path Program – Home Page describes how new pilots can engage training and resources at United Airlines in more detail. One of the MAC members should have complete information regarding available United Airlines resources.

Other Operators

Most, if not all operators, are creating similar approaches and programs such as:

Operators NEED to be building their own pipelines in a competitive market just to stay in business, again, these sorts of issues are usually referred to as just the ‘cost of doing [aviation] business’.

OEMs Provide Updated Training for NEW Aircraft to Operators

Launching new aircraft requires new training and certification, documentation, operating procedures, processes, and tools, to help certify new pilots, crew, and mechanics as well. Obviously, so the products can be sold and used.

Many OEMs have in recent months announced plans to launch so-called “ab initio” programs, in which airlines pay for training pilots, then hire them. Two examples from many available:

  • Boeing: Flight Training – offers comprehensive ‘Operator’ training for their products
  • Airbus launches ab initio Pilot Cadet Training Programme, 26 July 2018, Airbus ab initio.

MDOT Should Re-Use Mead & Hunt’s TRB Project 01-34?

One of the Special Task Force Members, representing Mead & Hunt, also studies, researches, and reports on related industry topics topic as well. So you would think that aviation industry statistics and information should be right in any of MDOT’s high end industry consultants wheelhouse wouldn’t you? In fact, one of the Special Task Force members is or was working on a highly related detailed study.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Transportation Research Board (TRB) hosts the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP), sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Each year, ACRP receives funding from the FAA ACRP, ACRP’s program sponsor. With this budget, ACRP funds research projects and activities to help airports surmount real-world challenges and problems.

Mead & Hunt was awarded and has or had the following active project:

  • ACRP 01-34 [Active?]
    • Title: Developing Innovative Strategies for Aviation Education and Participation
    • Funds:$350,000
    • Research Agency: Mead & Hunt
    • Principal Investigator:Stephanie Ward
    • Effective Date: 9/21/2016
    • Completion Date: 9/28/2018
    • Deliverables: There does NOT appear to be any deliverables that were actually delivered and were due on June 28, 2018, go figure? NONE!

Mead & Hunt has most likely already spent the $350k to pay for salaries and expenses. Hopefully the the State of Michigan, MDOT, or Taxpayers aren’t being duped into indirectly, or even directly, paying to finish or continue an ACRP project.  And if not, then why doesn’t the MDOT reuse this Mead & Hunt work and other easily available public information instead of creating a bogus special committee for six months to re-invent, re-find, or re-report on all of this existing information? Why get involved at all? This is clearly not a State of Michigan of Taxpayer problem at all!

See list of all All Projects| ACRP.
See list ACRP Project Reports All | Publications.

What Pilot Shortage Information is Already Easily Available?

So what other information regarding a Pilot Shortage, if one really exists, is available? Here is a brief Time-Line of the voluminous number of studies, research, and effort put forward over the last 40 years. The State of Michigan should leverage available info, not reinvent it or re-discover it. Why is the State of Michigan paying high-end consultants and Special Interests and Industry Lobbyists to waffle over this non-issue for Taxpayers and the State of Michigan? BTW: Most of this info was found and assembled in less than 6 hours!

See the Section Cyclic 40 Year Aviation Demand for history regarding Aviation Supply & Demand over the last forty (40), yes forty years and counting.

Very Recent Pilot Shortage Information: August 2018 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Symposium  – National Training Aircraft Symposium (NTAS): The Changing Role of the Pilot

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) conducted the National Training Aircraft Symposium (NTAS) which tackles pilot shortage and critical aviation industry issues. The 31st National Training Aircraft Symposium (NTAS), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Florida, from August 13 – 15, 2018, with the theme: The Changing Role of the Pilot.

A worldwide pilot shortage [supply & demand] and new, innovative ways to enhance aviation training were the key discussions at the 2018 National Training Aircraft Symposium: The Changing Role of the Pilot, hosted by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU).

The conference features presentations and keynotes speakers from NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Delta Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Piedmont Airlines, the Aviation Technician Education Council (ATEC) [LinkedIn] [Forbes] [FAA 2000] [2018 Pipeline Report (html) (pdf) (PressRelease)], the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and the U.S. Air Force, among others. The presentations for all three days are available on the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University(ERAU) Scholarly Commons Research (SCR) [#GoERAU].

On Monday, August 13th, 2018 during the Session 2: Pilot SupplyPilot Shortage: Sustainability Perspective (html) (pdf) (pptx) discusses the global commitment, when the UN announced 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for sustainable shared future in 2015. In this context, Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders (ABBB), 2016 report Powering global economic growth, employment, trade links, tourism and support for sustainable development through air transport (pdf) is an analysis of air transport through SDGs.

Similarly, reviewing the pilot shortage through SD [Sustainable Development] perspective emerges as a need in academia so as to enable better appreciation of underlying origins of pilot shortage and sustainable solutions. The sustainability concept may enable more systematic approaches to the formulation and attainment of SDGs. This paper aims to review the pilot shortage with sustainability perspective and reflect on for possible scenarios and solutions.

The websites Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders (ABBB) and enviro.aero [Twitter] have been established by the commercial aviation industry body, the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) [Wikipedia] [LinkedIn]. ATAG is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and is the only global association that represents all sectors of the air transport industry. Its mission is to promote aviation’s sustainable growth for the benefit of global society.

ATAG’s members include airports, airlines, airframe and engine manufacturers, air navigation service providers, tourism and trade partners, ground transportation and communications providers.

The website’s purpose is to provide clear information on the many industry measures underway to limit the impact of aviation on the environment, and provide a resource for people wishing to find out more about the important role aviation has on the economy and society [IATA] [Wikipedia].

It’s interesting that there does not appear to be any presentations from State DOTs or any hint that State DOTs are crucial to solving the perceived “Pilot Shortage Problem”, no County Organizations seemed to need representation at the conference either. More signs that this is definitely NOT a State of Michigan or a Taxpayer issue to be solved

More information regarding the UN Development Goals (SDGs):

  • About the Sustainable Development Goals – United Nations Sustainable Development (html)
  • Home – Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform (html)
  • Sustainable Development Goals (html) | (UNDP)
  • Sustainable Development Goals (Wikipedia)
  • What are the Sustainable Development Goals? (html) | World Economic Forum (WEF)
  • The Global Goals (html)
  • World Health Organization (WHO) | Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Sustainable Development Goals (pdf)
  • United Nations (UN) – Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (pdf)

Is This a State of Michigan Problem? Is This a Taxpayer’s Problem? Who’s Problem is This?

Vulnerable Groups interested in Industry and Airport Workforce Personnel such as Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers, Mechanics, & Flight crew. Most are revenue generating entities even if they are non-profit. Almost all other 49 states and all of their Counties are seemingly absent from the list of vulnerable entities, go figure?

  • Operators
    • Commercial Airlines
    • Cargo Airlines
    • Regional Airlines
    • Business Aviation, etc.
  • OEMs – Boeing, Airbus, etc.,
  • Special Interests – Hobby, Sport, Recreational, Personal
    • EAA, AOPA, etc.
  • Industry Lobbyists
  • Academic Institutions, Training Facilities, Flight Schools, etc.
  • US Government
    • NASA
    • Armed Forces
    • FAA, NTSB
    • Departments of Labor and Education, etc.

Why are these groups Vulnerable?

There are many mitigating circumstances including but not limited to:

  • Competitive market, competition for limited resources, capitalism, Free enterprise, supply and demand, open market, etc.
  • National Security
  • Compliance/Safety
  • Memberships, dues, etc.
  • Student tuitions
  • Employment, Education, Training Assistance
  • etc.

Pilot Shortage Task Group Scam Conclusion

Bottomline: Follow the money! It’s all about supply and demand, period!

Another episode in the never-ending saga of MDOT brain-fart ideas! MDOT is either acting ignorant or they REALLY are ignorant, or they think that taxpayers are ignorant, or all of the above, either way the taxpayers end up get ripped off again!

It’s busy work, period. The only people this phony task group serves are the bureaucrats, Special Interests, and Industry Lobbyists groups making work for themselves to benefit their own agendas using taxpayers hard earned money.

For someone or somebody, including high-end respected consultants that know where to look, finding this information is maybe a couple day job to gather this information, or even double the estimate to 4-5 days, or a whole work week or two, but no longer than that!

It certainly does NOT demand a six month special commissions worth of work effort for something that is NOT a taxpayer or State of Michigan problem.

It’s time to wake up and get some real facts and stop getting aviation facts, figures, and statistics  from the National Enquirer! This is not only ridiculous, it’s embarrassing as a State DOT!

BTW: If communities keep passing millage proposals like Northville, Farmington, Canton, perhaps  MDOT won’t be required at all and we’ll completely farm out management of the roads and transportation systems to local governments to work with  other capable entities, e.g. construction firms that can handle the whole job without MDOT intervention or meddling? Just cut out the middleman completely!

This whole Pilot Shortage Task Force affair is so shoddy, amateurish, and … in the private or industry sector (the real world) people would be fired for garbage like this!

Take Action to Protect PCCS Schools & Canton Plymouth Community from Lead Poisoning & Chemical contamination: by making as many calls, sending as many emails, to as many recipients on the Contacts page to demand closure of the State of Michigan Owned Hobby, Sport, Recreational Canton Plymouth Mettetal 1d2 airstrip.

While financial considerations are secondary to protecting Health, Safety, & Welfare of vulnerable populations, there is a also mandatory requirement to reorganize MDOT to remove the stranglehold of the MDOT bureaucracy on infrastructure essential to the Future of Michigan and place control back in the hands of Taxpayers and their elected officials!

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOTBureaucracy, as with all public servants, must abide by the highest standards of the State of Michigan (SoM) set forth by Governor Whitmer [PressRelease] [html] [pdf] [Ethics] and be held accountable for knowingly remaining silent (acquiesce) while contributing to the sum of Community Health, Safety, & Welfare negligence & malpractice, financial waste, misuse of taxpayer funds and the consequences of public funding abuse (html)!