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Aviation sector needs to do better job attracting workers: ICAO

Retirements and competition for high-skilled workers from other industries will strain hiring efforts.


MONTREAL — The head of the United Nations’ aviation agency says the global industry has to do a better job attracting enough workers to meet the sector’s growing employment needs.

Fang Liu, secretary general of the International Civil Aviation Organization, told a Montreal summit that an expected doubling in the number of passengers, retirements and competition for high-skilled workers from other industries will strain hiring efforts.

ICAO’s recently updated forecasts identify increased demand for pilots, air traffic controllers and aircraft technicians.

It says 620,000 pilots alone will be needed by 2036 to fly aircraft with at least 100 seats and some 80 per cent of these future aviators aren’t even flying today.

However, Liu says attracting these and other aviation workers is aggravated by the growing high-tech careers in other industries.

For example, she says Montreal’s growing global leadership in gaming and artificial intelligence may threaten the sustainability of the region as the world’s third-largest aerospace manufacturing hub.

Bombardier Inc. says it’s hiring about 1,000 workers over the next 18 months to complete the interiors of the Global 7000 which is scheduled to enter into service late next year.

Aero Montreal, which promotes the city’s aerospace industry, says 31,681 positions will need to be filled within the next 10 years including 8,816 newly created positions and 22,865 positions resulting mainly from retirements.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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