The European Cockpit Association (ECA) has developed a new website to help aspiring pilots and their parents make an informed decision about this career option.

The website is ECA’s response to the fact the cost of becoming a pilot now falls primarily on the individual’s shoulder. The association claims that although the profession is much more accessible due to a rise of private training schools and new types of training and licensing schemes, they can come with a price tag anywhere between €70,000 and €140,000.

“Parents are often the ones who pay the bill,” commented ECA’s President, Dirk Polloczek. “Mortgage on the family house is a very common way to finance pilot training. This is why we think it is important for parents to know what they will get in return on their investment. At the same time, they could help the next generation of pilots with choosing a good flight school, creating a plan B and managing expectations about the career.”

ECA wants to help future pilots determine the difference in job perspectives depending on the chosen flight school and opt for an employment scheme at the beginning of their careers, which won’t have a negative impact on their income or their ability to plan their future.

“99% of the pilots have chosen this career because it was their childhood dream,” continued Otjan de Bruijn, ECA’s Board Director. “We realise that people are designed in a way to pursue their dreams, no matter what, at all costs. And this is great! Because you get dedicated professionals, who love their job. But not everyone is lucky enough to get a pilot job. Some don’t even get their pilot license. We feel it is our duty to inform the future pilots of Europe about the potential pitfalls of the pilot training, the career and the job market. Our ultimate advice: If it is your dream, go for it! But do it with your eyes wide open!”