Aviation industry rebounds from pandemic; hire new employees

OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – Aviation has been one of many industries that the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted. But industry experts tell Local 5 News the aviation industry is recovering nicely and now is a better time than ever to break into the industry if you’re looking for a job.

This is good news for students at Fox Valley Technical College.

“Ever since I was young, I’ve been interested in airplanes, how they fly, how they work,” said Fox Valley Technical College student Cooper Helein.

“I love it, it’s so much fun, I love doing it every day whenever the weather is nice,” said Laurel Lindemann, another Fox Valley Technical College student.

Both students are studying at Fox Valley Technical College to become pilots one day. Helein said he wanted to be a professional pilot while Lindemann said she wanted to fly people in need of medical attention.

On Friday, they were at a job fair making important connections with employers in the aviation industry.

“Right now is the most needed time to be a pilot, there are so many pilots retiring that there is a big void in the system,” Lindemann said.

Becoming a pilot isn’t the only way to break into the aviation industry. From becoming a TSA agent to certified aviation maintenance technician (people who maintain and repair aircraft), all different types of aviation jobs were represented at the job fair.

Greg Dellinger attended the job fair representing AAR Corp which is a private aviation services provider. He was looking there to recruit students who are studying to become certified aircraft maintenance technicians.

“As we emerge from a global pandemic where so many planes were down, now is the opportunity to enter the industry and be part of this recovery, leisure travel is almost at levels before the pandemic,” Dellinger said.

Dellinger said that over the next 10 to 20 years, the global aircraft fleet will need about 600,000 additional certified aviation maintenance technicians to sustain itself. Plenty of opportunities for people trying to break into the aviation industry.

He said he saw interest in vacancies but could always use more quality candidates.

Dellinger says about 25% of AAR Corp’s workforce has served in the military and it is always looking to hire veterans.

“It’s one of the most exciting industries, it’s all about education and coming out of COVID, the sky’s the limit,” Dellinger said.