Remember all of the talk around "End of Days" and "Judgement Day". Again and again, these dates come and go with lots of fanfair, then fizzle. Nonetheless, the debate continues and Americana is always up for a good reason to buy that Harley and drive off into the sunset one last time.
The debate among the mass pilot retirements seems to follow this same apocolyptic sequence.
In September 2007, House Resolution 4343 was signed and changed the mandatory retirement age for pilots from 60 to 65 years of age. At the time, over 13% of the 144,681 ATP certificate holders were between the ages of 55-59, and approximately 15% were between 50-54 years old
Historically, the retirement rate of pilots in North America has averaged approximately 3% of the ATP population per year. However, from 2008 - 2011E, this rate was virtually zero! As we all know, this legislation had a onetime effect of pushing pilot retirements out an additional 5 years. As a result, some folks are predicting over 35,000 pilots are within 10 years of retiring and retirement rates of 4-5% across North American ATP population in the upcoming years.
If I was to channel my inner Harold Camping, there will be a day when airlines will have to park planes because they do not have pilots to fly them. What do you think?