U.S. Airlines To Face Pilot Shortage

Beginning next summer, federal rules will require pilots to have six times more flight time to get hired, and will then also require airlines to give pilots more rest between flights. This will increase the number of pilots airlines need, just as thousands of senior pilots reach the mandatory retirement age of 65.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news begins with a shortage of pilots.

Still reeling from the cost of thousands of flights cancelled by Hurricane Sandy, U.S. airlines will soon face a pilot crisis. Beginning this summer, federal rules will require pilots to have six times more flight time to get hired, and will then also require airlines to give pilots more rest between flights. This will increase the number of pilots airlines need, just as thousands of senior pilots reach the mandatory retirement age of 65.

One consultant told the Wall Street Journal: We're about four years from a solution and only about six months away from a problem.

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