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Texas high school's flight lessons may help solve pilot shortage
Raising the next generation of pilots
Several airlines are struggling with staffing shortages, which could make flights this summer more expensive. Raising Aviation High School in Addison, Texas, could help with the pilot shortage.
ADDISON, Texas – Several airlines are struggling with staffing shortages, which could make flights this summer more expensive. But a high school in Texas is working to help ease the problem in the future.
American Airlines recently announced it will end service to four cities due to a pilot shortage. Jonathan Ornstein, CEO of regional carrier Mesa Airlines, said that as fewer flights become available, those with available seating cost more.
Ornstein said the pilot shortage arose because many pilots retired during the COVID-19 pandemic, and fewer new pilots have entered the workforce. He also cited more restrictions and requirements to gain a pilot certificate as a contributing factor.
"The cost of becoming a pilot has become so great, because you need so many more hours," Ornstein said. "It’s really limited the ability for anyone who is not a very wealthy person to become a pilot."
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Raising Aviation High School in Addison, Texas, could help with this shortage. Principal Brent Fitzgerald said each student graduates with flight hours and a sport, recreational, private or drone pilot's license.