Boeing Co. predicts the commercial airline industry will need nearly a half-million additional pilots by 2032, a result of the slowdown of new blood entering the field and continuing growth of airlines across the world.

The world’s largest commercial plane maker, which is based in Chicago, issued the forecast Thursday at an event marking the launch of 787 flight training at the Boeing Flight Services campus in Miami.

In addition to the expected need for 498,000 pilots, Boeing forecasts the industry will demand 556,000 new airline maintenance technicians. That works out to about 25,000 additional pilots and 28,000 maintenance workers needed annually.

“The urgent demand for competent aviation personnel is a global issue that is here now and is very real,” said Sherry Carbary, vice president of Boeing Flight Services. “The key to closing the pilot and technician gap in our industry is enhancing our training with the latest, cutting-edge technologies to attract and retain young people interested in careers in aviation.”

The outlook projects significant increases in pilot demand compared to previous forecasts, in all regions except Europe, where the demand projection fell slightly from last year. Demand is expected to be greatest in Asia, the only region where the need for new pilots and technicians is projected to be greater than North America.

Tags: jobs, pilots