Next Generation Aviation Professionals.


Before starting the development of this topic, it is necessary to define the basic concepts related to it.

In world civil aviation is defined as a contracting state to the nation or sovereign country with republican or princely structure that adheres to the Chicago Convention established by the ICAO in 1944 and has as its main duty to follow the guidelines and regulations agreed in the current documents established by this organization.

The states, as they are called within the world aeronautical system, create public entities that represent them in this organization, these institutions or directorates dependent on the contracting nation or state are known as civil aeronautical authorities or CAA.

Aeronautical Operator, is the entrepreneur who commercially operates an aircraft under a concept of economic remuneration in exchange for a service rendered and may result from the transport of passengers, cargo or their combination, it is commonly treated as the external service agent or the party providing the service and must be approved, supervised and monitored by the CAA.


The Next Generation Aviation Professionals, is a strategic approach founded on the concern of an impending shortage of aeronautical professionals (Pilots, Aircraft Maintenance Technicians, Flight Dispatchers, and Cabin Crew) in the global civil aviation industry that was predicted by The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and aircraft manufacturers Boeing Industries, Airbus SE.

Known mostly by its acronym “The Next Generation Aviation Professionals” (NGAP), it is the issue with the greatest sustained growth in commercial civil aviation and transport worldwide and today represents one of the greatest concerns in the immediate future and with highly harmful long-term consequences if it is not given the priority it deserves by civil aviation authorities and international transport aviation.

The subject of NGAP arises after a study conducted by ICAO in the years following the world depression that occurred between 2003 and 2008, which affected the aviation industry proportionally, this depression occurred due to various factors, among which the war on terrorism and the global economic crisis played a leading role.

This study conducted by the ICAO is constantly reviewed and analyzed by aeronautical business experts and authorities, the most recent conclusion being in 2011. This is based on factors such as: increase in operations, fleet, destinations, passengers, cargo, etc.

The (NGAP) initiative is defined as the radical change of the traditional methodology employed by the human resources and training departments used by the World Civil Aeronautics, both at the level of state representatives as well as externally.

According to ICAO, this change in methodology should be focused on improving economic and logistical factors, in a relatively shorter time than the traditional one, offering more efficient and higher quality results.

The technological development both at the level of programs and tools, the value and quality of the individual and group of individuals and the environment within the growth of international air transport operations are the main parameters in these changes from the traditional methodology to a modern and standardized methodology proposed to be able to place these individuals and ensure that they are qualified and competent as professionals to operate, manage, and maintain the future of the international aeronautical transport system.

Statistics and conclusions used by the initiative (NGAP)

It was quantified that in 2010 there were 463,383 pilots, 580,926 aircraft maintenance technicians and 67,024 air traffic controllers who were qualified for the operation, maintenance and management of the international aeronautical transportation system. And that according to the trends in the next 20 years in the increase of operations, retirement of personnel, increase of fleet and operators, and increase of destination, passengers and goods to be transported, a number of 980,799 pilots, 1,164,969 aircraft maintenance technicians, and 139,796 air traffic controllers would be needed. In order for the international air transportation system to continue to offer operational safety for aircraft navigation.

So what does the NGAP initiative mean for contracting states?

In my humble opinion, contracting states can gain a situational advantage from the initial investigation and response conducted by ICAO, this information is vital and allows for pre-event preparedness. If the contracting states manage to use this information correctly and the states moderate the tools offered to them by modernity and technology the lack of competent aeronautical personnel will be but a small step of generational change.

Background of the states and actions based on the initiative (NGAP)

The topic that was widely discussed at the 95th Meeting of Directors General of Civil Aeronautics of Central America and Panama (DGAC/CAP/95) resulted in the common objective of re-planning Human Resources and Instruction to guarantee that the Civil Aviation Authorities or CAA have enough qualified personnel in the different air navigation services as aeronautical operations worldwide increase by more than 45% in the next 7 years. During the conclusion of this meeting it was agreed that “Civil Aviation Authorities should initiate, as soon as possible, the process of planning the human resources and training required to implement the new emerging systems. Administrations should therefore develop training and human resources planning programs in the different aviation areas to fill positions with qualified and competent personnel“.


But I really wish it were that simple to conclude, but both modernity and tools in the aeronautical field require more than good will and hope. NGAP is a reality and the support offered by Boeing, Airbus, Embraer to mention three of the major aircraft manufacturers will not be enough if states do not develop and implement effective solutions for the training and replacement of specialized aeronautical personnel in aeronautics in the world.

Part of this reality is that the aviation industry is a great cycle; and this cycle begins with the movement of passengers and cargo to different destinations. This movement generates jobs and moves the world economy, from the maintenance manager of an air terminal through the air traffic controller through the pilot, the mechanic, the dispatcher, the cabin crew to the owner of the company will suffer the decline and even the closure of operations, this directly affecting directly proportional to the large aircraft vendors and thus their employees and states directly.

I would like to give an exact number but for now I will limit myself to mention that trillions of dollars could be lost affecting a considerable amount of jobs that generate taxes in all states. The issue seems to be dressed more economically than emotionally, and it really is, our social system has evolved to a point that trying to stop the wheel that moves it would result in a major social, cultural and evolutionary disaster of world society and life as we know it.

And finally it would be good to remind the aeronautical experts something that I preach in all my classes “Having all these personnel ready and trained to perform the specific tasks of their job functions does not happen by magic or chance. And it cannot be accomplished in a single week, because the price that would be paid would be more than money, the price would be human lives, perhaps your own, or that of your loved one in a few years from now.”

Thank you for your attention, in my next installment I will let you know what actions the states are taking today to avoid economic, social and cultural chaos tomorrow.


1-All words in bold typeface are acronyms accepted by the normative documents used by the different agencies representing the contracting states and are in turn in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO.

2-Any sentence or fragment in italics is direct data or information directly from the ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization website.

3-Any underlined fragment or part of an idea is a highlighting of the points of focus of the subject and is directly an opinion of the author, no international agency or related party has any influence or responsibility for this opinion.