Avionics News December 2015 - 32

Finding Technicians
Finding qualified
technicians for
my business is:

AEA RATE & LABOR SURVEY

1%
Easy
3%
Don't Know

Continued from page 30

6% tral
u
Ne

PILOTS AND
FLIGHT TIME
While the average age of the active certificated pilot in the
U.S. has remained constant in the mid-40s, the number of active
aviators, counted by current medical certificates, has been bouncing ever lower. For AEA members, the important number is not
the total number of active aviators because it includes student
pilots and others who are rarely customers. Active airplane private pilots are a better gauge of the avionics market because they
represent the greatest number of aircraft owners.
In the 1980s, the total number of private pilots bounced above
300,000 until 1988, when there were 299,786 active private
pilots. The total bounded in the 200,000s until 2011, when it was
194,441. In 2014, there were 174,883 private pilots.
Those who hold active airplane commercial pilot certificates
are another good indicator for the avionics market. Like private
pilots, their totals are sliding toward five figures. From a peak of
183,442 in 1980, there were 104,322 commercial pilots in 2014,
down approximately 4,000 from the year before, with a decline
of roughly 8,000 between 2012 and 2013.
These declines are logically the results of an aging pilot population, baby boomers retiring from active flight and the overall
U.S. economic landscape. Some may cite the 2008 economic
meltdown as a cause, but the GA marketplace started shrinking
decades before it took place. The number of aviation newcomers is not sufficient to replace the retirements. Like their overall
number, the total of original private pilot certificates the FAA
issues each year has shrunk, from 58,064 in 1978 to 15,776 in
2013.
The total number of hours flown completes the aircraft and
active pilot circuit. Starting at 34.747 million hours in 1980, the
piston hours bounced into the 20-million-hour range in 1982,
and consistently below 20 million in 2001. Piston pilots flew an
estimated 12.352 million hours in 2014, and GAMA forecasts the
total will continue its decline.

ADAPTING
TO CHANGE
Comparing the respondent details of their technicians' experience and tenure with the same company, and the profile of the
aircraft on which they work, there is little change. The number of
bench technicians and A&Ps the respondents need also is closely
similar, but their need for install techs has nearly doubled, to 137
in 2015.
Given the reported difficulty in finding new qualified technicians, perhaps one source is the change in the average number of
32

avionics news

*

december

2015

90%
Difficult

techs employed by U.S. shops: From a dozen in 2014, this year's
figure is nine. The number of shops attributing an expected decline
in business due to a lack of trained techs dropped by more than
two-thirds in 2015, to 5 percent. New competition, a factor for 8
percent of respondents in 2014, didn't warrant a mention in 2015.
The number of respondents for 2015 is similar to the preceding year. What may be an important change, given the dynamics
of the market they serve, is the source of their increasing business
optimism beyond the ADS-B mandate. Between 2014 and 2015,
marketing and an improving economy traded percentages, and
the percentage of respondents adding maintenance to their repair
station capabilities quadrupled.

INTERNATIONAL
OUTLOOK
Optimism for business growth is up 8 points in Canada, which
was evenly divided between increasing and remaining the same
in 2014. Again, no respondent expected a decrease in business.
One-third of its respondents said they planned to increase their
shop rates an average of 6.3 percent, and all of the responding
Canadian members indicated they would increase the average
salary by 5 percent.
Only one-third of the South Pacific respondents expected
an increase in their business, with 56 percent expecting it to
remain the same and 11 percent bracing for a decrease. This is
a significant change from last year, where the respondents were
evenly divided between increase and remaining the same, with
none expecting a decrease. The number of shops planning to
raise their shop rates doubled to 67 percent in 2015, with an average 5.2 percent rate increase. The percentage of shops planning
to increase salaries remained the same, 67 percent, and the raise
was similar, 4.2 percent. q

10%



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News December 2015

Avionics News December 2015 - Intro
Avionics News December 2015 - Cover1
Avionics News December 2015 - Cover2
Avionics News December 2015 - 1
Avionics News December 2015 - 2
Avionics News December 2015 - 3
Avionics News December 2015 - 4
Avionics News December 2015 - 5
Avionics News December 2015 - 6
Avionics News December 2015 - 7
Avionics News December 2015 - 8
Avionics News December 2015 - 9
Avionics News December 2015 - 10
Avionics News December 2015 - 11
Avionics News December 2015 - 12
Avionics News December 2015 - 13
Avionics News December 2015 - 14
Avionics News December 2015 - 15
Avionics News December 2015 - 16
Avionics News December 2015 - 17
Avionics News December 2015 - 18
Avionics News December 2015 - 19
Avionics News December 2015 - 20
Avionics News December 2015 - 21
Avionics News December 2015 - 22
Avionics News December 2015 - 23
Avionics News December 2015 - 24
Avionics News December 2015 - 25
Avionics News December 2015 - 26
Avionics News December 2015 - 27
Avionics News December 2015 - 28
Avionics News December 2015 - 29
Avionics News December 2015 - 30
Avionics News December 2015 - 31
Avionics News December 2015 - 32
Avionics News December 2015 - 33
Avionics News December 2015 - 34
Avionics News December 2015 - 35
Avionics News December 2015 - 36
Avionics News December 2015 - 37
Avionics News December 2015 - 38
Avionics News December 2015 - 39
Avionics News December 2015 - 40
Avionics News December 2015 - 41
Avionics News December 2015 - 42
Avionics News December 2015 - 43
Avionics News December 2015 - 44
Avionics News December 2015 - 45
Avionics News December 2015 - 46
Avionics News December 2015 - 47
Avionics News December 2015 - 48
Avionics News December 2015 - 49
Avionics News December 2015 - 50
Avionics News December 2015 - 51
Avionics News December 2015 - 52
Avionics News December 2015 - 53
Avionics News December 2015 - 54
Avionics News December 2015 - 55
Avionics News December 2015 - 56
Avionics News December 2015 - 57
Avionics News December 2015 - 58
Avionics News December 2015 - 59
Avionics News December 2015 - 60
Avionics News December 2015 - 61
Avionics News December 2015 - 62
Avionics News December 2015 - 63
Avionics News December 2015 - 64
Avionics News December 2015 - 65
Avionics News December 2015 - 66
Avionics News December 2015 - 67
Avionics News December 2015 - 68
Avionics News December 2015 - 69
Avionics News December 2015 - 70
Avionics News December 2015 - 71
Avionics News December 2015 - 72
Avionics News December 2015 - Cover3
Avionics News December 2015 - Cover4
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