Boeing has forecasted Asia Pacific will need several hundred thousand new pilots, technicians and instructors over the next 20 years to meet the demand from the region.

Asia Pacific will need 182,300 new pilots and 247,400 new technicians through 2030 to support the region's airline fleet modernisation and the rapid growth of air travel, Boeing said in a report.

The 2011 Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook predicts Northeast Asia will need 20,800 pilots and 30,200 technicians over the next 20 years.

The same report said Southeast Asia will require 47,100 pilots and 60,600 technicians. The Oceania region will require 13,600 pilots and 15,600 technicians, while Southwest Asia will need 28,100 pilots and 32,700 technicians.

The report added that China has the greatest need for new pilots and technicians. As many as 72,700 pilots and 108,300 technicians will be needed in the country over the next 20 years.

"The demand for aviation personnel is evident today," said Roei Ganzarski, chief customer officer at Boeing Flight Services.

"In Asia we're already beginning to see some delays and operational disruptions [because of] a shortage of pilots," Ganzarski added.

"To ensure the success of our industry as travel demands grows, it is critical that we continue to foster a talent pipeline of capable and well-trained aviation personnel," Ganzarski said.

Separately, Boeing has called for a revised approach to its training programme to include the use of online and mobile devices to meet the demand for aviation personnel over the next 20 years.

"We must advance the training profession in order to attract and retain the passionate and competent talent needed to train the vast numbers of aviation personnel required," Ganzarski said.

"We need to train them in a way that is adaptable to a generation steeped in mobile and online technology," Ganzarski added.

In its outlook, Boeing said the global aviation industry will require 460,000 new commercial airline pilots and 650,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians by 2030.

In addition, the report estimated the pilot training industry will need a minimum of 1,200 new pilot instructors every year over the next 20 years.

"It should no longer be about an instructor's number of flying hours. The next wave of professional instructors should place greater emphasis on student aptitude to ensure students reach their fullest potential," Ganzarski said.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news