And here we are in 2023. After the pandemic, many of the thousands of pilots who had been grounded did not return to flight decks. Two factors – both triggered by Covid - combined to create a huge airline pilot shortage: 1) A scheduled surge of retirements, most obvious in the US. 2) Closure (without students or any government support) for many primary (ab initio) training schools delivering professional licences.
The slow and reactive regulatory paradigm has probably outlived its usefulness in terms of industry safety. Captain John Bent, FRAeS, argues that we need to establish new primary pilot training standards.