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More than 130,000 flights have already been canceled in the United States by 2022. The reason? There are not enough pilots.

Although the country concentrates on the world’s largest aviation market, with 735,000 pilots active, the shortage of professionals has never been more significant. It is estimated that the country will need at least another 150,000 new pilots in the next five years not to collapse.

The U.S. aviation market grew nearly 600% in the first half of 2022, compared to the same period a year earlier, due to decreased pandemic restrictions and vaccination worldwide. This recovery, however, aggravated the shortage of pilots’ problems. With people returning to travel after two years of the pandemic, American airlines need to handle more flights. The pilots are overloaded, and many domestic routes have been closed due to the shortage of professionals.

However, the difficult moment of aviation in the United States may be an excellent opportunity for foreign pilots who wish to live and work there. Many pilots from other countries have benefited from the green card, a document that allows permanent residence in the U.S.

Because of the crisis in the aviation industry, the U.S. government has been encouraging the arrival of foreign professionals in America, and there are a massive number of job offers in airlines of all sizes in the country”, said Immigration lawyer Marcelo Gondim.

“However, to be eligible for a green card, the foreign professional must meet some basic requirements, such as having pilot training, a U.S. license to fly commercial or cargo aircraft, and experience as a pilot on a commercial airline for at least five years. Having over 2,000 hours of riding experience also helps greatly.” –  noted Gondim.

Several factors help explain the shortage of pilots in the United States. In 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (AAF) indicated that 38% of the pilot’s workforce would be retired within ten years. Moreover, as much as it offers excellent salaries, ranging from $93,000 to $160,000 yearly, U.S. airlines cannot compete with large rival companies in tax-free regions such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Also, young Americans have shown little interest in becoming pilots, mainly due to the high cost of obtaining technical training: $100,000 to have the entire course and a flying license (ATP Certificate).

About the specialist: Marcelo Gondim

Marcelo Gondim is an immigration lawyer in the United States with more than ten years of experience in green cards and U.S. visa processes. He is licensed by the State of Florida to practice immigration law in the entire U.S. Marcelo was born in Brazil but also held American citizenship. He is the founder and principal attorney at Gondim Law Corp., an immigration law firm based in Los Angeles. Increases the number of female immigrants in the United States


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