DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky DBEA55AED16C0C92252A6554BC1553B2 Clicky
April 14, 2024


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The FAA’s pilot dataset provides a great look at this skill pool. We are focusing on ATP holders. We annoyed the ATC holder profession before, so we want to be careful this time.  ALPA offers an upbeat assessment of the profession.

The first chart lists ATP holders and the percentage of females in this group.

FAA AirInsight

The chart shows steady growth in the number of ATP holders and a more rapid increase in females with ATP ratings. However, the percentage of female ATP holders only recently rose above 5%.  In the US, females account for 50.5% of the population. So that 5% number is really low.

The following chart lists the average ages of ATP holders.

FAA AirInsight

Female ATP holders are considerably younger than the professional average.  Notice how, from 2021, the female age dropped as the percentage of females in the profession accelerated.  It appears the profession drew in females after the pandemic.

Combining pilot data with flights, we get the following two charts.

FAA AirInsight

The upper chart shows the ATP pool growth, which slowed briefly during the pandemic. There was good growth post-pandemic.  The lower chart shows the ratio of ATPs per flight. The growth rate was steady up to the pandemic. As flights were cut the ratio jumped.

But notice what happened post-pandemic.  Rather than return to its established trend, there has been a meaningful upswing. This is a significant change.

Next we look at ATP holder by age. The chart has two key items highlighted.

FAA AirInsight

From 2021 notice the ages within the green rectangle start to shrink as older pilots retired post-pandemic.  The orange rectangle shows the younger ATP holder groups rose as a proportion of the profession.  These are sea changes for the profession.

The same chart, but only tracking female ATP holders, is even more pronounced.

FAA AirInsight

As a final datapoint to show the important chnages taking place among FAA approved ATP holders, we offer an age gap chart.

FAA AirInsight

Not only are women moving into the profession, even with small numbers, they are making a demographic impact.  This chart shows a sharp rise in the age gap.  Women at thend of 2023 were 5.6 years younger than the industry average.

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Co-Founder AirInsight. My previous life includes stints at Shell South Africa, CIC Research, and PA Consulting. Got bitten by the aviation bug and ended up an Avgeek. Then the data bug got me, making me a curious Avgeek seeking data-driven logic. Also, I appreciate conversations with smart people from whom I learn so much. Summary: I am very fortunate to work with and converse with great people.

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