Pilot shortage can’t be addressed by existing programs, documents suggest

OTTAWA — Federal officials combing through skills training programs have concluded major changes are needed if they’re to be used to address a shortage of airline pilots.

A July briefing note to a senior official at Employment and Social Development Canada says that existing government programs “are not well suited” to help train more pilots.

Nor do the programs address the high cost to earn a commercial license in Canada, according to a briefing note obtained by The Canadian Press.

Instead, officials suggest a public-private partnership similar to other countries may be a way for Canada to address a growing need for pilots.

Industry estimates say Canada will need 7,300 new commercial pilots by 2025 — a challenge facing both domestic carriers and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Worldwide, estimates are that the global demand for new pilots will hit 255,000 by 2027.

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