The Pilot Of The Future

Findings from Oliver Wyman's Flight Ops Survey

By Geoff Murray

Over the next 10-15 years, the global pilot workforce will undergo a dramatic change. Aviation is continuing to grow, creating a demand for pilots that exceeds supply in most places; at the same time, an increasing number of pilots in the baby-boom generation are reaching mandatory retirement age. New pilots will join airlines that are larger than ever before, making it more difficult to build a connected and engaged workforce. And overhanging all of this is an evolution in technology set to usher in augmented and autonomous flying – fundamentally altering the cockpit working environment.

With these perspectives in mind, leading airlines and their suppliers are starting to rethink the way Flight Operations departments are designed and managed, with the goal of balancing operational, cost, and employee requirements. Flight Operations departments are being compelled to develop clear, supported strategies focused on pipeline and training, pilot connectivity and engagement, and the best use of new data and technology. Being successful in these areas will not only minimize costs but enable airlines to differentiate themselves as leaders of the pilot workforce of the future.



In this inaugural edition of Oliver Wyman’s Flight Operations Survey report, readers will be privy to the Flight Operations topics that are top-of-mind for aviation and aerospace industry leaders. This year’s survey delves into:

  • The impact of mega disruptors such as pilot shortages, regulatory constraints, and technology advancements like new supersonic aircraft, cockpit innovations, and fleet modernization

  • Industry readiness for single pilot operations and geographies most likely to be early adopters

  • Constraints for cockpit technology adoption such as regulations, airline readiness, cyber security considerations, implementation costs, pilot readiness, adoption and training, and ultimately passenger acceptance

  • The profile of the future pilot including job opportunity and demand, information toolsets and related skill set enhancements, and connectivity expectations, plus what this new profile means for those who manage flight operations departments along with pilot recruitment, training and engagement

The Pilot Of The Future


About the survey

Our perspectives are based on years of experience working with flight operations departments around the world, one‑to-one interviews with selected executives, and a survey of senior management at international airlines, cargo operators, original equipment manufacturers, and training companies.