With a year of uncertainty behind us there were questions about pilot certification numbers that many in the industry were asking. Did we keep training the next generation of pilots in 2020? How did flight training operations fair with shutdowns, very different business pressures, and a unique regulatory environment that was affected by local and national restrictions?
Just this past week, the 2020 US Civil Airman Statistics (https://www.faa.gov/data_research/aviation_data_statistics/civil_airmen_statistics/) were released and the data included allows some interpretation of what happened in 2020 compared with past years.
There is mostly good news in here with a little bit of expected bad.
Here are some highlights from the 2020 year and some comparisons with previous years.
Overall, an extremely minimal reduction in overall Pilot Certificates Issued
In a year when many businesses were closed, or at reduced capacity, and when we know that many flight training providers did experience at least temporary stoppages in training provision, the rally that was experienced is impressive.
Compared to 2019, 2020 saw an overall reduction in pilot certificate issuance of a mere 463 certificates, or an equated 0.049% compared with 2019 and was still an increase over 2018 of 8239 certificates, a nearly 10% increase in pilot certificate production. The gist, the pilot training industry is jamming and churning through certification of pilots at a good pace and that didn’t slow down in 2020. Continue reading