Friday, September 13, 2013

US Air Force facing drone pilot shortage, study finds

The use of unmanned aircraft in modern warfare may be ramping up in a hurry, but a new study suggests the U.S. Air Force may be facing a shortage of drone pilots, largely because these positions are still seen as less desirable than piloting more traditional manned aircraft.

A report released last month from the Brookings Institution, a non-profit think tank based in Washington, D.C., found that the Air Force has struggled to fill all of its training spots for drone pilots. In 2012, only 82 percent of the available training positions for remotely piloted aircraft were filled, whereas all of the spots in the training programs for manned aircraft were taken.

This year appears to be no different. As of January 2013, after the first round of the Air Force Academy's assignment process, only 12 individuals had volunteered for the 40 available training slots, a figure that works out to 30 percent.



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