Asia-Pacific will require more than half a million new pilots and technicians over the next 20 years to support commercial aircraft demand, Boeing predicts.

The Boeing Pilot & Technician Outlook 2016 estimates that the region will need 248,000 extra flight crew and 268,000 new maintenance personnel. Both figures are roughly 10% higher than what Boeing predicted last year.

China is expected to account for almost half the demand, and South-East Asia for about a quarter.

Boeing’s outlook is determined by current backlogs and expected demand for new aircraft, which the manufacturer thinks will be 15,130 units over the next 20 years. 

Airbus shares Boeing’s view that Asia-Pacific will account for 40% of global aircraft demand over the next two decades, but predicts a more conservative 12,800 new units for the region.

In the same period Airbus expects MRO demand in Asia-Pacific to rise from $15 billion to $50 billion, and that 230,000 pilots and 218,000 new technicians will be needed to support the growing fleet.

Given that Boeing and Airbus both base their services forecasts on aircraft demand, it appears that Airbus expects there to be less maintenance personnel per aircraft than Boeing does.

In April, Airbus opened a new pilot training center in Singapore under a joint venture with Singapore Airlines.

The 9,250sq-m Airbus Asia Training Centre (AATC) is used by many airlines in the region, and is the company’s fourth such facility alongside others in Toulouse, Miami and Beijing. 

Two months later Boeing added to its worldwide network of training centers with a new instruction facility in the Skolkovo technology park in Moscow, which Russia is trying to develop as its equivalent of Silicon Valley.

Set to house four full-flight simulators for the 737 and 777, the facility provides training for pilots, technicians and engineers. According to local media it will also pursue research projects in tandem with Russian institutions.