Regional airlines facing pilot shortage - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Regional airlines facing pilot shortage

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South Dakota is one of the many states feeling effects of a pilot shortage among regional airlines.

According to Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill, Great Lakes Aviation had some rocky months last year when new regulations went in place that led to change in pilot training hours.

Because of this, both pilots and passengers saw delayed flights and last minute cancellations.

Local flight instructors say they are feeling the regional pilot shortage, calling it a 'trickle up' effect.


According to the Government Accountability Office, 11 out of 12 regional airlines failed to meet their hiring targets for entry-level pilots last year.

On the other hand, major airlines haven't had any problems finding pilots.

Jordan Hall of Legacy Aviation in Tea says they do a lot of private pilot training but not as much commercial flight training. He says aviation keeps the economic needle moving.

Because of new rules that require longer rest periods for pilots and pilots reaching retirement age, major airlines are quickly hiring new pilots to keep business in the sky flying smoothly. 

"Generally the way it works is, if the major airlines are hiring, a lot of the people with experience in the regional airlines will fill those jobs -- not in every case, but often times -- then people that were maybe working in corporate aviation or doing something like what we do here, those people may move into those regional airline positions and then we're looking for instructors again," said Hall.

Hall does feel confident that more people will be stepping into the cockpit in the near future.



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