Houston schools prepare students for future pilot shortage

- The commercial Aviation industry is growing rapidly, with regional airlines taking flight and major air carriers adding new routes. And as it grows, there's a need for technicians and pilots. But last year industry analysts started predicting a pilot shortage over the next 20 years.

Houston-area students can now benefit for the expected pilot shortage through two programs at HISD's Sterling High School and Texas Southern University, which both have programs that could lead to a career in aviation. 

Sterling Aviation High is currently having a problem finding pilots to assist students with actual flight time, because of the current pilot shortage. For example, of the 5 pilots or certified flight instructors, who used to help the students, 3 have been hired away by regional or other types of air carriers. The students now have to wait almost 3 months to get into a small  private plane for some actual flight time. Texas Southern University also specializes in flight training for students.               

The Aviation Sciences program at Texas Southern University has only existed for 4 years. Along with aviation management, the university features a program training pilots for commercial aviation, with a non-profit flight club. Captain Edwards taught dozens of Sterling High students to fly--some of whom now fly for major airlines. Now through the Aviaition Science program that's only 4 years old, Captain Edwards hopes to train dozens of TSU students to become the future pilots in the commercial skies.


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