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OPINION: Has the glamour gone out of aviation?


As our special Training and Development Guide observes, the aviation enthusiasts who tend to run the sector may struggle to understand that, nowadays, hordes of talented young people are not beating down the doors to land jobs in their industry. Recruitment is a challenge, even for exotic, glamorous and desirable jobs such as pilot, engineer or air traffic controller. And the trends are not good.

First, entertain the notion – however much a sacrilege – that aviation is no longer so glamorous. People today travel a lot, but unless they fly business- or first-class, few will relish the prospect of time spent in airports or crowded metal tubes. Even the tiny cockpit must look like an unattractive working environment. Think Richard Burton, Blake’s Tours and Night of the Iguana – not Frank Sinatra and Come Fly With Me.

As these jobs become more like video games and less like, well, flying, the competition from alternative career options looks increasingly attractive. TomCruise and Top Gun was a long time ago; who would join the military today to sit in a bunker monitoring a drone?

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