RAA Press

Regional Airline Association Submits Statement to U.S. House T&I Committee Subcommittee on Aviation on the Status of Pilot Workforce

July 10, 2024. Media contact:

Washington, DC – The Regional Airline Association (RAA) commends the U.S. House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Aviation for holding the hearing “Eliminating Bottlenecks: Examining Opportunities to Recruit, Retain, and Engage Aviation Talent.” The RAA has submitted a written statement for the record to provide insights into the state of the regional airline industry’s pilot workforce and to discuss key provisions from the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 that impact this industry.

In the statement, the Regional Airline Association thanked Chairmen Sam Graves (R-MO) and Garrett Graves (R-LA), Ranking Members Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Steve Cohen (D-TN), and other Committee members for their leadership in securing a five-year FAA reauthorization bill, ensuring stability and certainty for the aviation community. The inclusion of workforce and training-related provisions are an important step toward ensuring the airline industry is prepared and ready to grow to meet the air service needs of communities of all sizes. 

RAA cautioned stakeholders against mistaking short term supply chain disruptions for a resolution of the pilot shortage, and urged continued support for solutions that stabilize the pilot and maintenance workforce, enhance safety, and increase diversity by improving the accessibility of aviation careers.

RAA President and CEO, Faye Malarkey Black stated, “Just as hiring paused during the COVID-19 pandemic onset but roared back with the return of demand, any amelioration in the pilot shortage we see today will rapidly reverse when larger aircraft deliveries resume. The long-term health of the regional airline industry and small community air service depends on our ability to address workforce shortages and ensure the next generation of aviation professionals is well-trained. We applaud Congress for its efforts and look forward to continued collaboration.”

Ensuring a stable and diverse workforce is crucial for maintaining safe and reliable air service to communities of all sizes at a time when most U.S. airports have not recovered from severe, pilot shortage-induced air service loss. Thirty-four states have seen an overall decline in air service and losses are most pronounced at smaller communities. The Regional Airline Association is committed to working collaboratively with the Committee and the FAA to implement the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024 and strengthen the aviation workforce.

To read RAA’s written testimony, click here.

About RAA  
The Regional Airline Association (RAA) provides a unified voice of advocacy for North American regional airlines aimed at promoting a safe, reliable, and strong regional airline industry. RAA serves as an important support network connecting regional airlines and industry business partners. Regional airlines operate 35% of U.S. scheduled passenger flights and provide the only source of scheduled air service to 64% of the nation’s airports. Regional airlines provide more than 70% of the air service in Alabama (72%), Alaska (88%), Arkansas (75%), Maine (72%), North Dakota (87%), South Dakota (75%), Vermont (77%), West Virginia (92%) and Wyoming (73%). Regional airlines provide more than half of the air service in Idaho (70%), Indiana (56%), Iowa (63%), Kansas (69%), Kentucky (58%), Mississippi (68%), Montana (65%), Nebraska (53%), New Hampshire (58%), and Rhode Island (58%).  

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