Did you know the Air Force has a shortage of over 1500 pilots? The problem is not recruiting new pilots into the service but losing experienced aviators who leave for higher compensation in the airlines. This is not a new problem for the Air Force but when the airlines are hiring they need to come up with innovative ideas to try and retain their highly trained pilots.

Two ideas being discussed are letting Air Force pilots take a period of time off to fly with the airlines and to allow for part time aviators.

[Air Force chief of staff Gen. David Goldfein] is meeting with the senior executives in the airline industry and are looking at just that,” said Lt. Gen. Gina Grosso, the deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services.

“We’re also starting to look at, can we allow aviators to fly part time on their own,” Grosso said. “I think those are just two ideas, and there are many more.”

To stop further bleeding, Grosso said the Air Force is also considering contract extensions for 1 year or 2 years, with $35,000 bonuses attached. The service typically offers 5- and 9-year extensions. – The Hill

Congress has authorized the $35,000 bonus to try and retain experienced pilots citing the high cost of training a pilot as justification. What do you think of these ideas? Will they actually work?

Featured image of flight helmets for U.S. Air Force pilots with the 480th Fighter Squadron by A1C Dillon Davis, US Air Force