A Problem for the Aviation Industry Essay

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Section 217: A Problem for the Aviation Industry

On a cold February evening in 2009, just outside the city of Buffalo, New York, two pilots crashed a new aircraft on final approach to land into Buffalo Niagara International Airport. In an effort to prevent an accident of a similar nature from happening, the U.S. Congress passed H.R. 5900, the ‘Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act.’ This bill under Title II was aimed to enhance airline safety and in part prevent an accident of this nature from occurring again (U.S. House 2010). Section 217 of the bill pushes the minimum hours required to act as a pilot on a regional carrier up to 1,500 total flight hours and requires those persons to do an extensive Air
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Asia’s economy is booming and this has resulted in the growth of many startup carriers that offer tax-free salaries and free housing for pilots with less than 1500 hours – a very attractive opportunity. This may cause a potential migration of pilots that would lead to many U.S. airlines having planes but no one qualified to fly them.
Further contributing to the shortage is that the cost to become a pilot is already expensive, causing low interest in the field; this law would make it even worse. By calculation, if a potential pilot were to start today, he would probably be facing a debt of between $50,000 and $80,000 just to receive the flight training required to gain 250 hours (Chatterjee). Added to this is the cost of attending a college with an accredited program. Potential pilots could be looking at paying well over $200,000 in loans to be able to fly. Before this law passed, pilots were assured that if they worked hard and passed through all the training received from college and flight school they would be able to become a pilot with one of the regional carriers and make a small salary while obtaining the required hours for one of the major carriers. Now, even this option has been taken away by the government because of the new hour requirement. Many pilots will have to look for work at their local airport for two or even three years without a steady pay in order to get a job which will only

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