LOS ANGELES -- Boeing says international collaboration between industry, government and academia is required to avoid future shortages of commercial pilot and maintenance staff which might otherwise hold back growth in developing markets.

The potential problems could be particularly acute in the Asia-Pacific region which Boeing projects will need 41% of the more than one million new pilots and maintenance technicians it forecasts will be needed by the world’s airlines over the next 20 years. The combined worldwide requirement is expected to include 533,000 pilots and 584,000 maintenance personnel.

“When you look at what is in front of us and where the growth is you could make an argument there could be an issue in some of these developing countries if we all don’t come together and deal with it,” says Sherry Carbary, vice president of Boeing Flight Services. “We are talking to the governments, the regulators and they all see the need. We all need to come together.”

Although Boeing is highlighting the size of the requirement, and therefore the potential shortfall should no concerted effort on training and recruitment take place, the company cannot take on the role by itself says Carbary. “Boeing will do what it can to help fill the gap and we will continue to invest in that area, but we can’t do it alone. The airlines are very open to it and the governments are open to it and I think you will see things happen as that proverbial shortage might start to develop.”

Averaged out over the next 20 years, Boeing estimates the market will need about 27,000 new pilots and 29,000 new technicians annually. Projected demand by region is topped by Asia-Pacific which will require 216,000 pilots and 224,000 technicians, with Europe coming in a distant second with a demand for 94,000 pilots and 102,000 technicians. North America is next with a projected requirement for 88,000 and 109,000 respectively. Latin America meanwhile is expected to require 45,000 pilots and 44,000 technicians, while the Middle East will likely need 55,000 and 62,000 respectively. Rounding out the tally is Africa with estimated requirements for 17,000 pilots and 19,000 technicians, while Russia and the CIS are expected to need around 18,000 pilots and 24,000 technicians.

--Guy Norris guy.norris@aviationweek.com