Russia may face pilot shortage

Russia’s civil aviation may face shortage of command and second pilots already in 2007, aviation experts said at the fourth international conference Wings of Russia on Wednesday. “The number of civil pilots reduces by 6 percent a year on the average. As against 1996 it went down by 57 percent,” the director of the Sibir Airlines’ training center, Oleg Vasilyev, said.

According to specialists, if this problem remains unresolved, the shortage of civil pilots may reach hundreds by 2015.

At present, Russia’s training schools graduate 100 aviation specialists who have commercial pilot licenses.

Experts also have great concerns over increasing average age of pilots. Over the past five years it increased from 40.2 to 44 years.

The share of young specialists in the total air staff remains small - 7 percent, as compared to 24 percent of those who are above 50 years old.

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Russia has two higher and two vocational schools that train civil pilots. Experts say these training centers have a vast potential and can graduate much more civil aviation pilots.
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