Subscribe Free
in Features

Youngsters fail the personality test

Posted 13 August 2012 · Add Comment

Fascinating but worrying insights into the attitudes of young people entering the piloting profession were presented to the conference by Nikki Heath, CEO of UK human factors, training and assessment company Symbiotics.

For generations, youngsters entering the airline industry have been driven by the simple desire to fly and to use their professional skills. No longer. She revealed that a survey of future aircraft commanders ranked the top four attractions in becoming a pilot as ‘respect and status’; ‘stability and career progression’; ‘glamour and lifestyle’; and ‘money’. ‘Using flying skills’ came fifth.

Equally worrying was the sense of entitlement that young people were displaying when they came to Symbiotics for assessment on behalf of airlines.

“Kids don’t like being tested,” she said. As fewer airlines sponsored or otherwise paid for the training of cadets, young pilots were increasingly having to fund their own way through training. This, the conference had earlier heard, could cost €100,000-150,000 ($135,000-200,000) and the result, said Heath, was that they felt that they were the clients and did not want to be tested.

She also said that – somewhat bizarrely, given the nature of the job – young pilots increasingly did not want to travel if that meant any personal disruption: “They want to have it all, they don’t want it to impact on their lives.

“As the job becomes more cerebral and intense, personalities become more important,” added Heath, whose company was lead sponsor of the conference. A further emerging factor was that young entrants’ attention spans were very poor. This made it essential to have a clear career path, with clearly identifiable goals. Increasingly automated cockpits meant that boredom was becoming a problem.

She contrasted airline jobs with the role of military UAV pilots, whose sorties were strongly goal-oriented and who were thus more focused on their mission.

The conference had earlier heard from Anthony Petteford, managing director of Oxford Aviation Academy (OAA), a major flight training organisation.

He lamented the fact that security considerations meant cockpit visits that could inspire a youngster and ignite their passion to fly were now ruled out.

The result, he said, was that there was “a much smaller pool of people with command potential because many people don’t know about flying”. The huge costs of putting themselves through training further reduced that pool.

Like Heath, he commented on the attention and focus skills of trainee pilots: “You would be amazed at the number of people who fail to read the instructions before answering assessment questions.”

And many of the youngsters seen by OAA seemed simply less aware of the world around them than their predecessors: “You’d also be amazed how many people don’t have opinions on current affairs.”

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Gulf Air and Oman Air in codeshare

Gulf Air recently launched a new codeshare agreement with Oman Air, the national carrier of the sultanate of Oman, that sees the airlines' combined frequencies between Bahrain and Muscat increase to 6 daily flights.

Qatar Airways Cargo and DoKaSch sign master agreement

DoKaSch Temperature Solutions, provider of climate-controlled solutions for air shipment of temperature-sensitive cargo, expands its customer base by signing an agreement with Qatar Airways Cargo.

Jazeera Airways brings 'Fantastic Fridays' to Kuwaiti customers

Jazeera Airways has launched 'Fantastic Fridays', an exclusive weekly offer to reward its online customers.

Emirates becomes official partner of The 2018 Ryder Cup

Emirates and the European Tour have renewed their existing European Tour Agreement for four years until 2021.

Passenger traffic at DXB rises to near-record eight million in July

Dubai International (DXB) recorded its second busiest month on record for passenger traffic in July with over eight million passengers, according to the monthly traffic report issued by operator Dubai Airports.

Qatar Airways' inaugural flight lands at Václav Havel Airport Prague

Qatar Airways' first non-stop flight from Doha landed yesterday at Václav Havel Airport Prague. Qatar Airways flight QR 291, operated by an Airbus A320, departed Hamad International Airport on Monday at 08:00 am and arrived at Václav

TAA SK 12MTHS16
See us at
DIAC BT1105121117Global Aerospace BT28218DAS BT1105161117Aviation Africa BT18418Commercial Aircraft Financing BT2017DASAS BT3006161117RMIT BT1631817AIME BT1204240118Aviation Show 267291117