FlightAware said that on July 4, 1,400 flights were canceled and 17,000 were late. American, Delta, and United have stopped serving small and medium-sized cities.
We have a huge shortage of pilots, and air travel will only get worse because of Obama's new rules and the fact that a lot of pilots had to retire during the outbreak.
Pilots who are 65 years old retire. In the aviation business, age limits for pilots are often made up on the spot. A few pilots who served in Vietnam recently left their jobs. Others went into early retirement after Covid failed, even though taxpayers paid $50 billion for pandemic relief.
Some pilots say that rules about immunizations make it hard to get hired. The FAA requires pilots to stay in quarantine for 10 days, but the CDC recommends only 5 days.
Pilot recruitment is difficult. Other changes to regulations make it harder for the system to respond to retirements and the need to get vaccines. Before Obama, a pilot had to have 250 hours of training to fly both passenger and cargo planes. In 2010, Obama raised the minimum to 1500.
Pilots who had been trained by the military had to put in 750 more hours. Vietnam-trained pilots have retired, which has led to a shortage of pilots.
Both the House and the Senate had large majorities of Democrats, so these changes could be made. Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed in Buffalo, New York, in 2009. 49 people died. Even though it didn't happen very often, the accident led to more safety measures.
Even though there was a limit of 1,500 hours, Flight 3407 still crashed in February 2009. Renslow spent 3,379 hours working. Rebecca Lynne Shaw has flown for 2,200 hours, 772 of which were in the plane that crashed.
The crash was caused by a lack of skill, not a lack of training. When the stall alarm went off, Captain Renslow went against training and raised the nose of the plane. Renslow did not pass five "check rides."
"Five is a red light," said an NTSA safety expert. Renslow didn't tell Colgan Air about his failed check rides, and the FAA doesn't tell anyone about them either.
Renslow couldn't compete because he failed three times. Renslow failed two more tests, so Colgan knew he wasn't a good pilot. Renslow was protected by unions. Union power with no limits.
Those who want to be pilots have to pay for more training. At $200 per hour, flight instructors watch over the first 250 hours. In a single-engine plane without an instructor, the next 1,250 hours cost $150 per hour. $237,500 for single-engine training. Training for more than one plane is expensive. No one can train too much in a week, but getting enough hours takes years.
No one is sure how pilots will be able to pay for more training. Because pilots might leave, airlines don't want to train them. The airlines are in a bind.
Certified pilots can't fly more than 2.7 hours per day, which makes it harder to find pilots for the tens of thousands of trips that happen every day. Thousands of pilots from the Baby Boomer generation are retiring at age 65.
Roger Cohen, president of the Regional Airline Association, said, "Without a game-changing shift in the supply of educated aviation personnel, especially pilots, places much bigger than Wichita could lose all of their scheduled flights." This could make towns less connected to the global economy, where plane travel is just as important as the Internet.
Who will profit from the new training requirements? Pilot licenses. Pay will go up because of the competition for pilots. The rule, which was backed by unions, affected American passengers. If not for the 2010 rule, there would be more flights to smaller cities.
Clear ways to deal with the lack of pilots are given. Some people think that senior pilots should not have to get immunizations and that the age limit should be loosened. Pilots who are older can be tested. We should think about the training needs of 12 year olds.
People should be able to let off steam somewhere.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on TheFederalist.