April 23, 2020

RCAF Recruits Laid-off Pilots


Facing a shortage of around 200 experienced pilots, the Royal Canadian Air Force is approaching former military pilots, laid off or otherwise, to rejoin the Air Force. The shortage of military pilots predates the COVID-19 pandemic, but with airlines virtually at a standstill, the RCAF sees this as a recruiting opportunity.

“It’s certainly encouraging to see former skilled RCAF members get in contact with our Air Force Intake and Liaison Team,” said RCAF spokesman Lt Col Steve Neta. “Each experienced person that we can bring back will add value as we continue our efforts to strengthen the depth of experience across the RCAF.”

As of April 15, 26 former military pilots have reached out to the RCAF and several have begun formal application.

Canada’s auditor-general reported in 2018 that the RCAF was short 275 pilots. Since then, the Air Force has tried to improve work/life balance, including providing better support for families and by reducing the number of pilots assigned to desk jobs, thereby keeping them in the air more.

The shortage won’t be resolved overnight, however, as there is a lengthy application process to go through to ascertain the candidate still meets the Air Force’s requirements. “Nonetheless, the RCAF is committed to facilitating this process to further strengthen our numbers of skilled and experienced personnel,” said LCol Neta.

Photo credit: RCAF