Pilot shortage having ripple effect at Twin Cities aviation schools

More airlines are canceling or delaying flights due to staffing shortages, and pilots are especially in high demand.

A pilot shortage is having a ripple effect on some aviation schools in the Twin Cities metro.  

Trever Rossini, the owner of InFlight Pilot Training in Eden Prairie, said enrollment at his pilot school has been some of the best he has seen since starting in 2013.   

It comes at a time when the industry is in dire need of pilots after offering early buyouts or paid leave during the pandemic.  

"You put all these people on the shelf, they have to stay current to fly these planes and they can’t just jump back into your airline plane and start flying," Rossini said. 

The travel industry is finding it is not ready for the surge in passengers as restrictions are lifted and people getting more comfortable with traveling again. The pilot shortage has caused massive delays and cancellations nationwide.  

"Airlines are starting to move again and the train speaking is finally moving and airlines are looking for pilots right now," Rossini said. 

That means for Rossini, he is seeing more people looking to do more than fulfill a hobby, but change careers. 

"If you’re doing it for a career, there’s no better time than now," he said. "This is probably the best time in the history of aviation to get a career right now." 

Commercial airlines like United announced plans to train more pilots to address their needs and according to Rossini, more airlines are offering attractive incentives such as a sign-on bonus.