2023 ATP Certificate Issuances Hit a High Point

Airline pilot hiring remained strong for most of 2023, and as such, so did the production of ATP pilots. With 2023 behind us, some early data is available that helps indicate how well our production of ATP pilot certificates compared with previous years.

The number of ATP certificates issued in 2023 strongly outpaces any of the recent years in the United States. Certainly in recent years, but perhaps ever, ATP production numbers reached a high point not seen previously.

A total of 11,086 ATP certificates were issued in 2023 through FAA ATP certification efforts. This number nearly doubles most of the recent years and even outpaces what was done in 2022 which was a previous high point.

Strong ATP certificate production throughout our system continues to help meet the demand for pilots in commercial operations.

We can see that throughout the year the certification efforts continued to outpace even month-to-month comparisons to previous years. Toward the end of the year, we see the monthly production numbers outpacing previous years by larger margins. This may indicate that our ability to complete ATP certification efforts for pilots is increasing compared to our previous capacity.

While there is certainly a maximum capacity of monthly production of ATP pilots that will be reached at some point, it does seem that we are becoming more efficient and effective at doing it. This could be considered an indication that if demand for pilots remains at the current levels or grows, we could continue to see such production numbers into 2024.

The certification of ATP pilots is heavily dependent on demand since most ATP certificates are issued in airline training environments, so the demand for these pilots will drive the level of investment that these operations continue to put into pilot development. Should we see a reduction in pilot need, it could result in operators who provide ATP-CTP course sponsoring and ATP pilot certification subsequently in their internal training processes reducing classes. Unless that happens, we might postulate that these ATP certification numbers might be continued into 2024.

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About Jason Blair

Jason Blair is an active single and multiengine instructor and an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner with over 6,000 hours total time, over 3,000 hours of instruction given, and more than 3000 hours in aircraft as a DPE. In his role as Examiner, over 2,000 pilot certificates have been issued. He has worked for and continues to work with multiple aviation associations with the work focusing on pilot training and testing. His experience as a pilot and instructor spans nearly 20 years and includes over 100 makes and models of aircraft flown. Jason Blair has published works in many aviation publications with a focus on training and safety.

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