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.