Air travel can be torturous enough as it is—with delays, cancellations, lost luggage and expensive tickets—but experts warn that another problem looms on the horizon, threatening to further complicate the commercial airline experience: a pilot shortage.
According to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. airlines are on track to run out of pilots in the near future and are facing the most serious scarcity of trained aviators since the 1960s.
The paper reports that more than half of American pilots are over age 50, and there is a dearth of qualified candidates to fill the cockpits that will be left empty when they retire.
The mandatory retirement age for pilots is 65 years old (extended from 60 in 2007), meaning that thousands are expected to leave their careers with no one to replace them, the Journal notes.
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