Those of you contemplating a career as an airline pilot are aware that there has been talk about a shortage of pilots. If you are thinking at all that the much published impending pilot shortage is merely a myth, you only have to look at this week’s Jet Blue schedule to realize it is not impending. The shortage of pilots is upon us.
Last Saturday, new FAA regulations went into effect that expands rest time for pilots. Pilots were always given eight hours of mandatory rest after eight hours of flight time or after a twelve hour duty day. The FAA has changed the regulations as of Saturday so that pilots must have a minimum of eight hours of rest, not eight hours between flights. Another words, time counted getting to and from the hotel could not count toward the required rest hours.
Due to weather conditions, and citing the new requirement, at least one airline, Jet Blue Airways took the unprecedented action of grounding all flights into New York and Boston today. Jet Blue cited the new flight crew regulations and their inability to fly the additional hours that weather delays could cause with their current flight crews.
Moreover, Jet Blue is reported to be in a hiring frenzy, trying to attract the flight staff they already need. Clearly, the time has never been better to plan a career as an airline pilot.