SLU Launches Global Aviation Program in Response to Predicted Worldwide Pilot Shortage

November 5, 2012
Aviation Science, Parks College News

Boeing recently released a report predicting a dramatic rise in the need for well-qualified global pilots. Approximately 465,000 new pilots and 601,000 new aircraft maintenance technicians will be needed in the next 19 years, with the greatest need in the Asia-Pacific region. In that region, delays and interruptions are already occurring due to the lack of qualified pilots. Many are concerned that airlines may start filling those time slots with unqualified pilots, decreasing safety for passengers.

Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology created a global aviation degree program with this need in mind. Students in the program get a global perspective and knowledge of European piloting standards by spending the first year of the program at SLU’s campus in Madrid, Spain, then completing the degree with hands-on flight experience at the St. Louis, Mo., campus. The program provides students with the highest levels of education and training for pursuing a career in international flight. After completing the degree, graduates have extensive flight theory knowledge and flight experience, preparing them for aviation careers around the globe.

Dr. Stephen Belt, Aviation Science Department Chair, says of the program: “By partnering the Aviation Science department with our full-service campus in Madrid, Saint Louis University is poised to not only respond to the increasing demand for highly qualified pilots, but to elevate the standard of collegiate flight education world-wide.”

To learn more about Saint Louis University’s aviation degree programs, visit

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