The RCAF is getting competitive in the increasingly tense market for pilots and will likely start paying signing and retention bonuses to experienced military pilots. Too many pilots are leaving the RCAF after serving their minimum amount of time (usually 10 years) after their extensive training and the loss is a double whammy for the Air Force. It not only doesn’t have enough pilots to fill the current demand, it’s losing the very officers who should be going on to become leaders in their squadrons and mentors to the young pilots rotating in. RCAF Commander Lt.-Gen Al Meinzinger told his troops in a message earlier this week the extra money is “vital” to stabilize pilot ranks.

In addition to the financial incentives, Meinzinger said pilots will get to do more of what they signed up for, fly the planes, and less administrative work, which many pilots do not like. Meinzinger said he hopes to offer retention bonuses to experienced pilots and signing bonuses to bring former military pilots back, including those from other allied countries. He said he hopes the measures will solve the RCAF’s pilot shortage within seven years. At last report six months ago, the RCAF was short 275 pilots.