ROCHESTER, Minn.-A pilot shortage is happening.
Aviation systems are forecasting that by 2021 regional airports will be in need of 5,000 pilots. Those flying to smaller cities may run into some trouble in the future. Boeing, an airplane manufacturing company, reports that in the next 20 years, when current pilots retire more than 100,000 pilots will be needed to fill those positions.
I spoke to John Reed, the executive director of Rochester International Airport.
He tells me he's already seen the impact of the pilot shortage about 15 to 20 smaller airports have shut down their runways.
But that’s concerning to traveler Michele Misiak.
“That saddens me,” she said “It’s not that I don't love international airports but the regionals are small their convenient their easy to get in and out of and if I don’t have that as an option. It does make my week much harder because I have to get to where I need to go.”
Reed says the mandatory retirement age of 65 and low recruitment are the major factors in the pilot shortage.