November 1, 2020
PRESIDENT’S CORNER: NOVEMBER 2020
For The Love Of Flight
The Canadian aviation industry as a whole is experiencing one of the biggest challenges of its time; COVID-19. With closed borders and intensive travel restrictions, many air operators have grounded their fleets and are faced with little knowledge of when they may return to the skies.
For many budding pilots, the state of the aviation industry amid the coronavirus pandemic will make them reconsider their future career options. So how do we keep our younger generation interested in flying?
Many of the seasoned and experienced pilots will choose to take early retirement or leave aviation entirely amid the pandemic. This will mean a skill gap at the top, with an increased shortage of experienced pilots and air operators will need to work hard to plug this gap. If student pilots start training now, it will be about 2 years before they are finished, this will coincide with the economic rebound. People will want and need to fly for either personal reasons or for business.
In adversity comes opportunity. Just because you can’t get a job as a pilot right now, or maybe even in the next couple of years, doesn’t mean you should stop flying entirely. There is no better time than right now to shift our attention and focus on the fun side of flying. Because it is fun! Many of us are in this for that reason alone. This is the time to show this New Crew of pilots that even without a career in aviation, flying can be a great part of your life.
It is ever more important for COPA Flights to be the social glue that keeps young pilot minds motivated and inspired. After all, you cannot fly airplanes without flying airplanes, period.
As a thought, COPA flights can organize meet and greets, either virtual or in person with the experienced GA pilot sharing stories. Or better yet, plan a Discover GA Day at your airport. COPA Flight members are covered with additional insurance coverage for peace of mind. Your passenger will not only get to experience the fun of flight but can enroll in a free ground school, thanks to Hangaaar, thus reducing the cost initial flight training.
Let’s find new ways of doing old things as a result of these unpredictable times. Let’s reinvent the flight training model and the ingenuity to succeed and grown.
There is no denying that there is an air-travel crisis and that jobs and businesses are at stake. But there is a bigger picture, and that is the tenacity and determination of the young inspired pilot. The aviation industry has historically always recovered and I have no doubt it will overcome this major upheaval.