Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The aviation industry is constantly changing; therefore, it becomes critical to understand the historical and current state of the industry in order to progress into the future. The creation of Public Law 111-216, along with new flight time/duty time regulations and accelerating retirements, is creating a demand within the industry that the pilot labor supply may not be able to accommodate. This study produces a Pilot Labor Supply Forecast through analysis of current industry dynamics. Through a step-wise interactive linear regression, models were created and used to predict the number of new CFI’s being created, based upon the yearly percentage change in flight costs, the number of new pilots hired at major airlines, and a previously unknown interaction between the two. A Flight Cost Forecast as well as a Pilot Demand Forecast was created through this analysis. This study found that between 2012 and 2032, flight costs are expected to increase by approximately 11.468% based on 2012 dollars, and 111,971 pilots will be needed at major airlines by 2032. However, the CFI Labor Supply Forecast approximates the creation of only 52,117 CFI’s during the same time period. There will be an apparent shortage of pilots at the major airlines within this forecast period, which will cause problems in the aviation industry’s current structure. This study provides a tangible analysis to determine how the pilot labor supply has changed since previous forecasts, and provides the framework for continuing improvement as the aviation industry transforms.