Airline travel is already a massive headache under Joe Biden.
It’s on the verge of becoming a nightmare.
And Joe Biden is panicking over one disaster that will make traveler’s lives miserable.
Air travel under President Joe Biden has turned into a major pain in the neck.
Flight delays and cancellations are on the rise across all the major airlines.
For the first time since 9/11, all air travel was grounded in the U.S. because of a system outage at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that happened because of an error during routine maintenance.
President Biden and his hapless Transportation Secretary, Pete Buttigieg, are watching helplessly as air travel becomes a source of major frustration for travelers.
Now, the situation is going to get even worse because of a “tsunami” of retirements coming from commercial airline pilots, according to industry experts.
The airline industry is already suffering from a shortage of pilots prompted by airlines encouraging pilots to retire during the travel slowdown caused by the pandemic.
With travel starting to pick up again, airlines are scrambling to find enough pilots.
Regional Airline Association CEO Faye Malarkey Black testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that a “tsunami of pilot retirements” are on the horizon for airlines.
More than 50% of commercial airline pilots will be forced to retire within the next 15 years thanks to FAA regulations that require pilots to retire when they hit 65 years old.
The significant upfront cost that is required to become a pilot has also left only 8% of pilots under the age of 30.
Black claimed that a “devastating pilot shortage” was already hitting the industry, and hurting airlines’ ability to keep up with demand as travel returns to normal post-COVID.
Research from consulting firm Oliver Wyman found a shortage of 60,000 pilots is expected by the end of the decade.
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby warned investors on an earnings call earlier this year that “pilots are and will remain a significant constraint on capacity.”
The pilot shortage and the rising cost of aviation fuel is already hitting travelers in the wallet as airline ticket prices have risen by nearly 18% year-over-year.
House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), a general aviation pilot, said that FAA training requirements are harming the ability to build up a pipeline of new pilots.
Currently, the FAA requires a pilot to have 1,500 hours of flight time before they can fly a commercial airliner.
He explained that pilots only come out of flight school with roughly 250 hours of highly structured flight time, and are forced to “rack up debt” to bridge the gap.
Graves pointed out that an FAA study found that the number of hours of flight time a pilot has under their belt isn’t always indicative of their ability.
FlightSafety International CEO Brad Thress told the Committee that flight simulators could provide training for a variety of scenarios, and should be used to supplement experience requirements.
After all, if flight simulators are good enough to train U.S. military fighter pilots, surely they can train a pilot to fly commercial airliners that are far closer to autonomous than any other vehicle in existence.
Congressional Republicans proposed raising the mandatory pilot retirement age to 67, but Pete Buttigieg opposes the change.
Airline travel is going to be a nightmare as more pilots exit the workforce.
US Political Daily will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.