Workforce Initiatives

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Workforce Initiatives

Retain existing talent while developing the leaders of tomorrow

Business aviation managers are finding it harder to staff their operations, in part due to increased competition from the airlines, and in part because of an overall decline in the number of people choosing aviation careers. NBAA is dedicated to bolstering the business aviation workforce of today, while also developing the next generation of industry leaders.

In addition to offering a wide array of professional development programs targeting both industry veterans and newcomers (see below), the association and its committees are constantly working to find ways to make our industry more attractive to current and potential personnel.

In 2017, NBAA's Business Aviation Management Committee (BAMC) surveyed over a thousand business aircraft pilots about their career satisfaction and quality of life concerns. The results offer a stark picture of the challenges facing the industry – but also provide insight into what business aviation companies can do to retain their talent.

Download the NBAA-BACE presentation based on the BAMC Workforce Study

NBAA Workforce Programs

NBAA has a number of programs designed to support workforce development and retention efforts. Find more information on each by clicking the links below.

  • Young Professionals in Business Aviation (YoPro)

    Young Professionals in Business Aviation (YoPro)

    NBAA’s YoPro is a group dedicated to building relationships between emerging leaders across the business aviation industry. YoPro members work to connect young professionals while also increasing public awareness of new initiatives in this vibrant and growing industry. Learn more.

  • NBAA Mentoring Network

    NBAA Mentoring Network

    NBAA is launching a national mentoring network that will match qualified industry veterans with young people pursuing business aviation careers, with the aim of fostering a collaborative environment for professional growth. Learn more.

  • NextTech for NextGen

    NextTech for NextGen

    Review NBAA's proposed aviation maintenance technician certification program developed in collaboration with strategic partners throughout the aviation industry. NextTech for NextGen's goal is raise the educational and professional bar for aviation technicians though the creation of a new and higher certification category. Learn more.

  • NextTech for NextGen

    Internship Resources

    NBAA's resources, including the Internship and Career Guide, are tools that can help lead the way for future aviation professionals. Learn more.

Business Aviation Insider Workforce Issue

As part of its efforts to confront troubling staffing trends, NBAA has published its first workforce-focused issue of the association's Business Aviation Insider magazine. Find this timely and compelling content in the January/February 2018 issue of Business Aviation insider, both in print and on the official app.

BAI Jan/Feb 2018

Latest News

Strategies for Retaining Skilled Business Aviation Professionals
May 21, 2018
Business aviation is facing a critical shortage of pilots, maintenance technicians and other skilled aviation professionals. As a result, managers are looking for tangible, proven strategies that flight departments can use to retain their best people. Review NBAA's practical workforce retention guidance in the May/June 2018 issue of Business Aviation Insider.

Podcast: Upcoming NBAA Regional Roundtable Allows Leaders to Share Ideas
May 14, 2018
On May 23, industry leaders will meet in San Diego, CA for NBAA’s Local and Regional Group Leadership Roundtable where they’ll discuss issues challenging groups across the country, such as workforce development. “It gives everyone an opportunity to come and network with each other and learn best practices that they can then take back to their individual associations,” said Iver Retrum, chair of the Local and Regional Group Committee. Learn more in this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast.

Podcast: Michigan Groups Share Proven Tips for Attracting Youth in Aviation
April 30, 2018
The Michigan Business Aviation Association and Western Michigan Business Aviation Association have been working together for more than 30 years to reach students and pique their interest in the industry. Dean Walters, director of aviation for Jackson National Life, works with both groups, and said roughly one-third of business aviation pilots of come through the scholarship program. The goal, he said, is to reach kids while they are still in high school. Learn more in this week's NBAA Flight Plan podcast.

5 Tips to Hold On To Top Talent
Feb. 12, 2018
Business aviation faces a critical staffing shortage, not only when it comes to attracting new talent, but in holding onto existing workers. "More money is not a universal solution for most people," said Margaret Vernet, founder and president of Corporate Aviators Inc. "It's about finding the right balance between quality-of-life concerns and the work we've chosen." Learn tips for retaining valued employees in Business Aviation Insider.

Expand Your Talent Base Through Diversity
Jan. 29, 2018
The demographics of the American workforce are changing, and business aviation must keep up. "Aviation companies are competing in a global market, so we have to become more open-minded about our approach to hiring," said Charles Copeland, chief flight instructor for Flex Air, who noted it's about removing obstacles that have historically hindered women, people of color and LGBT persons during the hiring process. Learn how to expand your talent pool by engaging aviation professionals of diverse backgrounds in the January/February 2018 issue of Business Aviation Insider.

Business Aviation Grapples With Attracting, Retaining Talent
Jan. 22, 2018
The industry is finding it increasingly difficult to keep talented professionals, in part because the airlines are offering what is perceived to be a better deal, and in part because of an overall decline in the number of people choosing aviation careers. "Our biggest challenge during the past 24 months has been crew retention," noted an aircraft management firm recruiter. "The airlines have become much more aggressive and they're targeting business aviation." To hold onto seasoned talent, flight departments need to evaluate their employee compensation and how they're providing "quality of life" benefits. Learn more in the January/February 2018 issue of Business Aviation Insider magazine.

NBAA Supports Inaugural Women in General Aviation Workforce Event
Jan. 18, 2018
Attracting, retaining and promoting women in general aviation has always been a challenge, as females compose only about 5 percent of the industry workforce. However, NBAA is supporting a new event that organizers hope will lead to improvements in this area. The International Aviation Women’s Association will hold its first General Aviation Women’s Leadership Forum Jan. 25 at Boca Raton Airport (BCT). Learn more about the forum.

NBAA Launching New Business Aviation Mentoring Program
Jan. 3, 2018
NBAA is implementing the first phase of a mentoring program this month, matching experienced industry veterans with those wanting to explore opportunities in business aviation. The "beta" version of the program matches 20 sets of people who were paired based on the specific interests and goals. The first class includes a diverse group, according to Brian Koester, NBAA's manager of operations – "college students looking to find their way into a business aviation career, people already in the industry looking to make a step up, people at a crossroads in their career trying to decide if they want to stay on the path they're on." Learn more about NBAA’s new mentoring program.

Addressing Business Aviation's Personnel Shortage
Jan. 1, 2018
Business aviation is facing challenges in attracting and retaining talent, in part because of an overall decline in the number of people choosing aviation careers. In response, NBAA has stepped up to provide guidance and solutions for members, from education sessions to a new mentorship program. “All business aviation professionals need to be part of the solution. We can’t wait for someone else to do it,” said Dan Wolfe, NBAA Business Aviation Management Committee member. Learn more in NBAA's first-ever Workforce Issue of Business Aviation Insider.

NBAA, Industry Leaders Work to Address Workforce Shortage Issues
Dec. 4, 2017
As the industry grapples with the best way to address current and future staffing shortages, more than 25 representatives of business aviation organizations recently met at NBAA’s Washington, DC headquarters to discuss ways that industry stakeholders can confront these issues, particularly for pilots, maintenance technicians and flight attendants. "We agree that this is not a bubble, and that this is a real issue we’ll be dealing with for at least the next decade,” said BAMC Chair Jad Donaldson, director of aviation for Harley-Davidson. Learn more about the Workforce Summit.

Business Aviation’s Workforce Issues in Focus During NBAA-BACE
Sept. 29, 2017
As the business aviation community looks to the future, it is increasingly clear that a series of trends – including demographic shifts, evolving experience requirements, and employees’ workplace and career expectations – could potentially impact the size and nature of the industry’s workforce in the years to come. One presentation, “The Future Business Aviation Workforce: A Diverse Perspective” highlighted ways that diversifying the workforce can help employers attract high-caliber professionals. The speakers will also explore international hiring practices as a solution to filling the talent pipeline. Learn more about the NBAA-BACE presentations.

Is a Staffing Shortage Looming?
Sept. 5, 2016
Projected global airline industry growth, combined with competition from other industries, means that business aviation faces increasing pressure to attract and retain the number of quality employees that it needs to meet demand. Among the converging factors is a sustained increase in airline traffic, which is driving expansion for many commercial carriers. This, combined with lower overall unemployment in key markets, notably the U.S., is making it challenging to fill many business aviation positions, from vacancies in the cockpit to open seats in the flight department office. Read the article originally published in Business Aviation Insider.