The air ambulance industry is already under a lot of stress with insurance providers refusing to cover services offered by organizations that are out of their network. The lawmakers, on the other hand, are trying different ways to reduce the amount the industry charges for its services. All this while the costs are constantly on the rise and the payouts have not been revised for several years. Now, the air ambulance industry is forced to handle a new crisis that is projected to last for almost two decades. The industry will see an acute shortage of qualified pilots and maintenance personnel who form the core of this emergency medical service, especially important for rural United States.
A New Research Brings to Light the Shortage of Air Ambulance Pilots
The research was conducted by University of Dakota in conjunction with Helicopter Foundation International as well as Helicopter Association International. The study has revealed that up until the year 2036, the helicopter industry will see a shortage of 7,649 pilots. That’s just one part of the problem. The country will see a shortage of 40,613 personnel who are qualified in aviation mechanics. The primary cause of the problem, it is believed, is the growing air ambulance and the helicopter industry around the world.
The Shortage is an Opportunity for New Entrants
Traditionally, the air ambulance industry has preferred retired personnel from the armed forces with ample experience in flying, especially in emergency situations. Former military personnel fit the bill perfectly. However, with the rapid growth of the helicopter industry, this supply funnel is proving to be narrower than ever. This leaves doors open to new entrants to the field.
Industry experts suggest preparing pilot and technical personnel through the K-12 education system. A defined career path that takes one to being an aviation technician or a pilot should solve the problem.