Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Richmor Flight School fills need for new pilots

Hudson, NY – “The demand for new commercial pilots in the coming decade and beyond is going to be huge,” said Richmor Aviation Chief Executive Mahlon Richards. “Recent trends in the commercial aviation market are creating pressure for airlines to look for a new pool of pilots.”

Richmor Aviation, headquartered in Hudson, – with fixed base operations in Schenectady, Hudson, and Kingston – is a jet management, jet charter and jet maintenance organization. Richmor also has the largest flight school in the Northeast, according to Richmor’s Flight School Director, Lisa Litts.

Recent articles in USA Today, Air Force Times, as well as information from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, back this claim about the need for more pilots.

Richards cited this quote from the USA Today article: “After a four-year drought of job openings, the airline industry is on the brink of what’s predicted to be the biggest surge in pilot hiring in history. Aircraft maker Boeing has forecast a need for 466,650 more commercial pilots by 2029 — an average of 23,300 new pilots a year.

Why the looming need?

“There are many reasons,” said Richards.

“Among those are the rapid growth of travel to other areas of the world, the growth of low-cost carriers, upcoming pilot retirements, changes in pilot rest time requirements for safety reasons, and increased national traffic as the economy improves.”

Richards believes this demand for well-trained pilots will substantially help Richmor’s growth going forward.

According to Litts, “Richmor’s Flight School is committed to helping individuals earn all certifications, beginning with private pilot all the way through commercial pilot. We also offer courses to help students eventually become Certified Flight Instructors. Right now more than 300 students are enrolled, but Richmor has the capacity for more, said Litts.

“The beauty of learning with Richmor,” said Litts “is that Richmor holds FAA Examining Authority for Private and Instrument Ratings. As an FAA approved 141 flight school with Examining Authority, Richmor trains new pilots using a Training Course Outline (TCO) approved by the FAA. Examining Authority allows a student to graduate Richmor’s Flight School without further examinations by an FAA designated examiner,” she said.

Richmor’s Flight School is working with local community colleges to offer Associates Degree programs in Aviation Science and with an out of state university to offer a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation. They are presently associated with Schenectady County Community College’s Aviation Science program and Utah Valley University’s Bachelor of Science Degree.

Litts asked: “Maybe you’re a junior or a senior in high school? Why wait for college? With these job opportunities, students can get a head start by enrolling in one of our programs offered at Kingston-Ulster Airport, Columbia County Airport, and Schenectady County Airport.

According to news reports and industry sources, pilot hiring was depressed for years. However, there will be a boom going forward.

“We have already seen it here at Richmor,” said Richards.

“The demand for pilots is great and airlines and other charter organizations are looking for qualified candidates to fill their cockpits. Several of our students are already flying with airlines, corporate charters, and commuters,” said Richards.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics cited in the USA Today article, “U.S. carriers had 4.9% more pilots in 2010 than in 2009, with much of the increase fueled by low-cost carriers that are continuing to expand, Low-cost airlines such as Southwest,Virgin America and AirTran increased their pilot staffing 11.2% in 2010 over 2009, while regional carriers increased their pilot numbers by 4.9%.”