Aviation is a key driver of global economic development. Over a third of all trade by value is sent by air, which makes aviation a key business component worldwide.
Aviation and Employment
The aviation industry supports 87.7 million jobs worldwide, either directly within the industry or, supported through the industry’s supply chain, employees’ spending, and the aviation-enabled tourism sector. Around 11.3 million people work in the aviation industry directly. These jobs include airport operators, airlines, civil aerospace, air navigation service, and other airport-based roles. Over 18.1 million jobs globally are supported by aviation indirectly through the air transport industry’s purchase of goods and services. Air transport industry employees (direct and indirect) support 13.5 million induced jobs globally, using their income to purchase goods and services for themselves. Tourism is fast becoming the world’s largest industry, and air transport plays a vital role. Conservative estimates suggest that aviation supports 44.8 million jobs within tourism.
Employment in Future
Aviation organizations worldwide are increasing their efforts to attract recruits to the aviation industry. A July 2014 report from Boeing suggests that 533,000 new commercial airline pilots and 584,000 new maintenance technicians will be needed to fly and maintain the world fleet over the next 20 years. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is particularly mindful that future air travel demand will be supported by sufficiently qualified personnel on the ground and in the air.
ICAO Council President
“International civil aviation’s greatest priorities over the coming decades virtually all derive from the projected doubling of our network’s capacity,” said ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu. “The possibly dramatic shortage of pilots, mechanics and air traffic controllers we will soon be facing, as well as the need to accelerate training and certification for these aviation professionals and the new managers who will need to lead them, are key areas where ICAO’s leadership and action will be instrumental to the future viability and sustainability of our global network.”