RACCA Announces Impressive $20,000 in 2022 Scholarship Award Winners 

For More Information Contact: Kathryn Creedy                                            

321 405 4395          kcreedy@raccaonline.org 

RACCA Announces Impressive $20,000 in 2022 Scholarship Award Winners 

Hyannis, MA, December 12, 2022 – The Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association (RACCA) and UPS announced eight deserving aviation scholars as recipients of the 2022 RACCA Scholarship and RACCA UPS Scholarship awards to foster their continuing education in pursing aviation careers.  

RACCA scholarship winners, awarded $2,500 each, include Demarcus Griffin, Stephanie McClendon, C. Sahara Billman and Simarjit Singh. The RACCA UPS FlightPath Scholarship, also $2,500 and designed for aspiring pilots, maintenance and flight operations professionals, was awarded to Amos Igwe, Cameron McCoy, Jackson Heagy and Evan Wetsch.

“Scholarships are of paramount importance to building the aviation workforce, so it is incumbent on industry to reach back and give those just starting out a helping hand,” said RACCA President Stan Bernstein. “Our scholarship winners are doing that already as they mentor youth and promote aviation careers even as they continue to train. By helping them, we help the entire industry.” 

RACCA Scholars 

Demarcus Griffen

Demarcus Griffin, from Memphis, TN, recently began flight training and is working on his private pilot license but he will be graduating with honors with an AAS Degree in aviation maintenance technology. He also has gained partial maintenance certification necessary for his career and is looking forward to completing his AMT certification. Griffin was attracted to the cargo industry by working for FedEx after his high school graduation. A student at Arkansas State University (ASU), Mid-South, Griffin was described as one of its top students in its Aviation Maintenance Technician program and has only one semester remaining. He continues his work at FedEx where he is now an AMT Helper on the night shift gaining hands-on experience from certified mechanics.

Stephanie McClendon

Stephanie McClendon is a student at Delta State University’s Flight program and achieved her private pilot license in eight months, becoming the first student in her class to do so. Described as someone who will go above and beyond in her career and a great asset to aviation, McClendon completed her instrument rating last summer. Originally from Whitmore Lake, MI, she is active in Alpha Eta Rho professional aviation fraternity and became its vice president in her freshman year. McClendon is also an officer in the Women in Aviation Magnolia Chapter and is a leading member of the Delta State Precision Flight Team where she promotes aviation careers. This work includes representing Delta State at the Mid-South Air Show and DSU’s Aviation Career Fair. Within the next two years she wants to achieve her CFI, CFII and MEI certifications before building time to become a regional cargo pilot. McClendon’s volunteer work includes FOD clearance at her local airport, working with the elderly and at the local animal shelter.

C. Sahara Billman

Sahara Billman attends Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL realizing her lifetime dream of pursuing an aviation career. Originally from McKinney, TX, she is now pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science where she is on the Dean’s List. She completed her instrument and commercial ratings and is a member of the university’s Flight Professional Conduct Board and Women in Aviation. Her family’s inability to finance her pilot dreams failed to cool her enthusiasm and, at the age of 14, Billman began seeking organizations to help her achieve her dream. She began working with Tango Thirty-One Aero Club, a nonprofit focused on helping underprivileged youth learn to fly through “sweat equity” and working in the maintenance bay. During high school she helped restore two aircraft from the ground up including engine overhauls and full build-up of Continental 0-200-A engine while graduating from high school a year early. She served as the club’s president and is such a staunch advocate for youth aviation, she would like to run a group similar to Tango Thirty-One wherever she lands in her career. Recommended for continually seeking challenges and her dedication to success, Billman is also known for her personal character and integrity. Billman is a now a certificated private pilot and a member of ERAU’s Flight Competition Team.

Simarjit Singh

Simarjit Singh began his flight training this year and has already earned his private pilot certification, among the first in his class at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology to achieve this goal. Hailing from Queens, NY, he will shortly earn his instrument rating, the next milestone in the journey that began in childhood when he decided he would be a pilot. Known for his leaderhip skills, Singh recently passed the instrument oral check ride and waiting for the instrument flight check ride. He works line operations at Heritage Flight Academy and takes a keen interest in the workings of engines to better handle the aircraft should problems arise. An avid aviation documentary watcher, Singh uses them to learn crucial skills like crew resource management as well as to gather information on how airline airplanes work. 

RACCA UPS Flightpath Scholars 

Amos Igwe

Amos Igwe defied his own assumptions that he could never become a pilot. But, after taking a flight with an instructor friend, his career goal changed to a cargo pilot. He already had a career at UPS as a package handler and the nightly dedication of his coworkers inspired him to use that same mentality to pursue a flying career. He was named Leader of the Year by his fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha. Igwe volunteered to help Hispanic youth immigrants integrate and succeed in their new schools and has served as director of operations for Spin for Steven which focuses on helping people with rare cancers. He and the organization raised $28,000 and attracted 700 participants to its event. Described as an man of character, intelligence, leadership, and kindness, Igwe went from zero flight time to his multi-engine instructor certification one year after graduating from the University of Louisville. He worked as an intern for the UPS FlightPath program and participated in the Tri-Annual Airport Disaster Event at Louisville International Airport (SDF). His goal is to become a Gold Seal Instructor before ultimately achieving his dream of becoming a cargo pilot.

Cameron McCoy

Cameron McCoy gained his passion for aviation as a boy and dreamed of becoming an airline pilot. He began his journey to become a professional pilot in high school where he worked at a local grocery store to pay for flight training and gain his private pilot license. Originally from Houston, TX, McCoy graduated with honors from Baylor University’s Bachelor of Aviation Sciences program. He has completed his ratings to CFII. He worked for UPS in its FlightPath Internship program and cited the company culture and people for pursuing his flight goals. McCoy’s passion for serving others started at age eight when he volunteered at church eventually becoming its sound and lighting engineer. At Baylor, he served in the Student Aviation Organization, traveling to air shows and promoting its aviation program. McCoy is also a mentor to nine students at Flight Club 502 where he organized eight tours for 100 Flight Club 502 kids at UPS’s flight training center giving them an experience in the 757/767/MD11 Level D simulator. Since then, many of those who participated, now want to fly for UPS. McCoy also mentors high school students helping them take the next step in their aviation careers. He is using his scholarship to achieve his multi-engine time in preparation for flying for Ameriflight before returning to UPS.

Jackson Heagy

Growing up in Prospect, KY, Jackson Heagy did not think about an aviation career until joining the UPS IT department after graduating with a bachelor’s in management information systems from the University of Alabama. He grew up in a family working in the UPS flight training department, however. After joining the airline, it was watching UPS aircraft that inspired him to become a cargo pilot. He earned his wings at Clark County Airport, Sellersburg, IN,where he completed an accelerated program in which he gained his PPL, instrument, CSEL, CMEL, CFI, CFII and MEI within 10 months. Having accomplished this, he began teaching at ATP Flight School where he instructed private, commercial and CFII students. As a UPS FlightPath Airline Safety Intern in UPS Safety Risk Management Department, Heagy worked with FOQA, ASAP and eReport data, combining his technology and flight experiences. He continues to work with members of the Thoroughbred Flying Club and plans to join Ameriflight next year to gain experience before returning to a UPS career. He also wants to continue working in the training center as an instructor using FOQA and ASAP data to improve aviation safety.

Evan Wetsch

A native of Louisville, KY, Evan Wetsch had a lifelong interest in aviation, but it was not until his junior year in college he began his flight career. As a FlightPath intern, Wetsch worked in the quality assurance department in the flight training center. At my job I analyze flight training data to make training safer, more efficient, and to comply with FAA and UPS standards. He has since earned his PPL before completing his degree in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Kentucky.  Since then, he earned his instrument, MEL commercial and SEL commercial in just under 70 days. He served as a CFI at Bowman Field in Louisville, and recently volunteered at Women in Aviation’s Girls in Aviation event at the field promoting the wide variety of aviation careers, including the cargo industry. Wetsch also volunteered for SDF’s mock Aviation Disaster Drill. He attended the National Intercollegiate Flying Association conference in Ohio promoting aviation careers to hundreds of students, sharing information on cargo flying and the FlightPath program. He plans to fly for Ameriflight before returning to UPS.

About RACCA

The Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association (RACCA) is dedicated to representing and serving approximately 50-member Part 135 and Part 121 cargo carriers who have about 1,000 aircraft in their fleets. Their role in the aviation

industry is meeting the cargo needs of small communities and connecting them to the national transportation aviation system, many via the global networks of FedEx, UPS and DHL. RACCA focuses on improving safety and representing its members in Washington.

Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association

35 Hinckley Road Hyannis, MA 02601

508-778-7788  raccaemail@aol.com

Interest in Flying Cargo Rises Once Students Know Opportunity and Value

Once student pilots learn about the opportunities and the value of flying cargo as a career, they are receptive to the possibilities and prefer it to other time-building experience, according to University of North Dakota Professor and Director of Aviation Industry Relations Kent Lovelace who spoke before last week’s RACCA conference.

“Members need to do more active recruiting,” he told conference attendees highlighting both the opportunities and challenges for the industry. “You need to be more visible to aspiring pilots and you need to reach out to educate the aspiring pilot population about the benefits of flying for a regional cargo carrier. You also need to be competitive with regional passenger airline pay or offer something to offset the lower pay. In addition, you need to develop defined career paths and educate students that regional cargo careers are an effective path to a major airline because those airlines value that experience.”

One take away from the survey is 62% of student pilots saw flying cargo as a more attractive than working for a regional passenger airline to reach a major carrier.

They also were more familiar with passenger carrier pathway programs, saying they were a huge incentive to pursuing that route. Familiarity with regional cargo carriers was extremely low – between 9% and 40% compared to over 90% being familiar with FedEx, UPS, SkyWest, Endeavor and Delta. Ameriflight topped the list in familiarity.

Lovelace, who has been an ambassador for air cargo careers for years, conducts a student pilot survey at UND and noted opportunities exist for the industry to spread the word about great careers and pathway programs to FedEx and UPS.

RACCA Influence on Survey

The new data resulted from conferring with RACCA to design specific questions successfully raising the visibility of the industry. The data included pilot certification trends (see charts below) and recommendations Lovelace called both opportunities and challenges. Respondents said the survey opened their eyes to the possibilities of flying cargo as a career move. They also indicated they would prefer such opportunities over building hours as a CFI.

“Students are open to other ways of gaining their flight experience,” said Lovelace in reporting survey results.  “Many would avoid CFI with students feeling regional cargo carriers would improve their marketability. Pay continues to dominate the reason for choosing a place to work while culture, safety, and how employees are treated also showed up in many of the qualitative comments. Students are familiar with FedEx & UPS but not very familiar with any of the other major and regional air cargo carriers. Significantly, 71% to 75% of students weren’t familiar with SIC and PIC regulations relating to air cargo carriers while 62% of respondents consider this opportunity more attractive than working for a regional airline to reach a major airline.”

Under new rules pushed by RACCA and finally accepted by FAA a few years ago, pilots can be hired by a Part 135 carrier as second in command at about 800 hours and they can gain turbine, pilot-in-command experience at a regional cargo carrier at 1,200 hours of total flight time.

Recommendations – Recruiting, Increased Pay

What is clear is what the industry is doing now is not working and Lovelace recommended the industry do more active recruiting.

The recommendations stemmed from the comments made as part of the survey which revealed when respondents entered flight training only 29% aspired to fly cargo while 73% cited passenger carriers as their career ambition. However, 42% of respondents cited cargo as their long-term goal compared to 73% passenger airlines which means either would suffice for those pilots.

“The survey indicates students have some uncertainty regarding their career goals,” explained Lovelace. “Both cargo and corporate pilot careers ranked higher than previous surveys. Students become far more aware of the varying career opportunities the longer they spend at UND based on qualitative responses and several students indicate a change away from military due to pay/benefits.”

Pay continues to top the reasons for going a particular career route or company for which they want to work at 95%, according to the survey, but work schedule ranked third with 90% of respondents citing its importance. Some 86% of respondents ranked bonuses fifth.

Misconceptions abounded with once commenter stating they would prefer a regional cargo instead of being a CFI but believed regional cargo operators and their aircraft were not as good as passenger regionals. Comments also cited pay and the lack of flying compared to other hours-building experiences. The commentor believed they could make it faster to FedEx via passenger regional airlines than a regional cargo carrier. Student perception also showed they thought commuting was not an option meaning they were limited in where they could live.

Lovelace noted student certifications were down, probably owing to Covid

Emerging Tech Takes Center Stage at RACCA

Emerging Tech Panelists L-R: Ameriflight CEO Paul Chase, Sabrewing CEO Ed De Reyes, Beta Technologies Chief Revenue Officer Patrick Buckles and Reliable Robotics CEO Robert Rose

With Part 135 the increasing focus of attention for operating electric and automated vehicles, as Ameriflight CEO Paul Chase indicated during a much- anticipated session at last week’s RACCA meeting, the issue is not just about the cargo industry becoming an enabler of the next generation technologies but reducing the cargo industry’s environmental footprint. Chase noted forecasts show that commercial applications for emerging technologies will see a 10% to 14% compound annual growth rate.

“All this attention,” said Chase, “certainly illustrates that what we do is essential.”

The three closest to the finish line – Beta Technologies, represented by Chief Revenue Officer Patrick Buckles, Reliable Robotics’ CEO Robert Rose and Sabrewing CEO Ed De Reyes – discussed the potential for realizing the varied missions emerging technologies have been given. For the three that included making aviation even safer, expanding cargo service to areas that are now inaccessible and improving logistics.

$19 to fly 160-mile leg vs Caravan at $800 fuel. Beta is prioritizing on developing its cargo aircraft first, arguing the reduced operating costs makes short hops with limited cargo more economically viable. However, it is working on longer ranges and has already invested in charging technology at airports.

Beta Technologies, said Buckles, is not focused on the passenger side where 80% of the eVTOL developments are targeting. “The bigger market for the new technology,” said Buckles, is in cargo and military logistics. “We are going after that market and forecasts indicate 80% of new technology will be deployed in that arena. We are trying to change how cargo is moved in order to cut fuel costs and open a lot of new missions that are not economically viable today. We’ve seen cargo be incredibly transformative in the past few years. We have to further transform it, not from carrying 1000 shirts to Macy’s, but to delivering 1000 shirts to 1000 households. With electric and eVTOL you can get cargo there faster and more economically.”

Like Beta, Sabrewing started by designing its Rhaegal aircraft specifically for the cargo market. De Reyes noted RACCA members were instrumental in helping to tweak the design to make it more useful. “Air Cargo is the low hanging fruit,” he said. “But, in reality it’s the ability to deliver that cargo not just to doorsteps but doorsteps that have never had access to any transportation at all. The ability to get to any destination is the battery and operators need to plan to complete the mission on a single charge. While we have designed it for 1000 nm with max cargo, what about the mission that starts at one airport and goes to five different airports before returning to base. Our aircraft can go 24 hours a day and it never gets tired. You can’t do that now with crewed operations but you can with a UAV.”

One of the first companies to receive Air Force Agility Prime backing, Sabrewing decided to concentrate on commercial rather than military operations. De Reyes indicated if the military saw value in Rhaegel operations that would be the icing on the cake but the company sees commercial operations as leading the space. Bringing that home was a statement during a conference by the Air Force that it didn’t have a logistic mission.

“There are far more logistics aircraft than fighters,” he said. “The military really has to wrap its head around conquering logistics if they are going to win wars. In fact we found the hardest part was getting the military to understand how much they have in common with air cargo companies than anything else. Their defining issue is where they have to go has no runway and that’s were we come in. If we can provide solutions for air cargo carriers, then we’ve solved it for the military as well.”

He noted that with many of the emerging technologies the wait is years before it is introduced into service but the need in the cargo industry is immediate. “We can put it in the fleet and start operating and still get the ranges and payloads we have right now,” he said. “We have achieved that and sold 138 Rhaegel Bs and we just booked an order for 53 Rhaegal As. Our tech is moving quickly.”

Rose noted Reliable Robotics Electric Caravan was a way to introduce advanced automation to improve the safety and economics of regional air cargo. He emphasized regionals say they want more flexibility and the company was responding by offering flexibility on how they design their routes and how they manage their networks.

He also stressed the safety aspect of the new technologies as Airbus has argued in continuing its development of autonomous airliners. “Really safety needs to drive the changes,” said Rose. “We will have autonomous planes but we need to focus on certification and the practical reality of the challenges before us. This will only happen for safety and certification is for safety. We have to have an exclusive focus on safety to get through the certification process.”

Why Part 135?

Chase asked what it was about Part 135 that was attracting so much attention from the cargo-oriented emerging technology and the three panelists all pointed to the regulatory infrastructure already in place. They noted the passenger-oriented new technology aircraft faced not only the development of certification standards and rules but also the integration into the National Airspace, two daunting challenges that are expected to forestall the ambitious timelines set down for passenger aircraft.

Reliable Robotics is based on existing aircraft to speed certification. This is about more than replacing the pilot. It is also about a computer system deciding how packages are delivered. A lot of it is the flexibility and enabling you to do what you can’t do today with new routes and really working those planes to their maximum capability.

For Reliable Robotics it was basing its technology on existing aircraft and focusing on automation and removing the pilot in favor of the control center with the autopilot flying and the pilot managing the flight through an advanced flight management system. He reported the company has made great strides with the FAA toward certification which includes an entirely new navigation system.

Sabrewing chose Part 23 certification specifically for its known pathway and certification allows operation in Class B and C airspace. “We have 10 detect-and-avoid sensors that allows us to take off and fly under IFR conditions just like conventional flight,” he explained. The only difference is the pilot sits on the ground and we can land vertically or conventionally. Out of the 200+ regulations, 60% deal with flying human beings and we do not have to certify to that.

Rose agreed adding: “We don’t have a pilot on board, we have a set of avionics that can do this all internally and we’ve made great progress in certifying that and the autolanding system that brings the aircraft to the ground. “This is not new technology for Part 25 or Part 23 aircraft certifications. Cat III is already there but for us you need the capability and the procedures that go with it. We have auto take off and the capability for rejected take off. We tackled those first and then we addressed the management of emergency conditions and turning that into software so we can finally move the pilot out in favor of developing detect and avoid and loss-of-link procedures. We see it as an incremental process in building the capabilities.”

Buckles noted Beta’s experience with the Air Force Agility Prime program provided lessons learned and flight test data which ports directly over to the FAA to ease the certification burden. “The FAA is learning as quickly as the industry and finding the right parts of industry to enable a data-based, safety-based approach,” he said. “With cargo, we will be building the social acceptance by getting the aircraft out there. That contributes a lot more than something written in a powerpoint presentation.”

Solving the Pilot Shortage

Inevitably the conversation turned to whether or not the new technology would ultimately solve the pilot shortage but for Rose, it is about more than that.

“When you think of true autonomy and fast forward to the future, it is also about a computer system deciding how packages are delivered but that’s a long way from where we need to be for that. We need to ask the question what the incremental small bits are that will contribute to the solution. There are very few examples where there was a giant leap forward in aviation except maybe the Wright Bros.”

Sustainability

In discussing emerging technology’s role in sustainability, Buckles said it will come by applying the right technology – hyrdrogen, electric, SAF – to different problems rather than going for a moon shot out of the gate. For its electric solution, it began early building out the infrastructure and investing in ground charging stations. It has already completed 12 airports and is targeting the completion of 60 more by the end of 2023.

It also requires thinking differently about power. “On a mission with a 190 nm leg the fuel costs $700 for the Caravan but $13 for a recharge,” he said. “If you think about utilization and how many times a day you can run the argument becomes better. Then think about the fact operations and maintenance are far less expensive meaning you don’t have to wait for a full load to be profitable. This opens up a lot of other business opportunities for carriers. There are a lot of companies who need airlift but it was not economical before. Now we can give them what they need through aviation which is now much more affordable. The next question we get during discussions like this is whether we know of any experts to help them rethink logistics. You could end up running a flight department for them.”

Payloads Important

De Reyes discussed the barriers he faces to market penetration. “The biggest issue is operators don’t want to buy an aircraft that carries less than a SkyCourier or a Caravan,” he said. “To build an aircraft for that kind of load is huge but we approached this from the path of least resistance. We adopted Leonardo’s flight control computer meaning we only need a TSO to do that. We have commercial off the shelf technology where they provide the engineers and tech support which reduces our production costs and your acquisition costs.”

He asked for a show of hands on how many operators could make a profit flying 300 pounds of cargo – only one hand went up. “This is a viable form where we are getting people who are thinking about drones within a drone. You get Rhaegel to a destination and smaller drones fan out from that destinations to smaller destinations,” he said. “You have a fixed cost of $200 minimum to launch a flight. You cover a 50-lb payload with $4 per pound. These fix costs and higher loads make for higher profit margin and that is how we’ve approached our product. We carry more weight than a SkyCourier but we have a far lower cost per hour.”

FAA Progress

Rose noted there is a lot of doubt the FAA will accept the new technology or that it will be too expensive. “But we are seeing a lot of movement with the FAA and on the cost side we discuss how much pilots really cost,” he said. “It’s not all about the costs. A lot of it is the flexibility and enabling you to do what you can’t do today with new routes and really working those planes to their maximum capability. It’s also about pilot utilization. For us, once they are done flying a route, they can virtually fly other routes, the same pilot could oversee operations regardless of time zones.”

As for airspace integration, De Reyes noted drones have been flying in the airspace for 30 years so ATC knows how to deal with it. For new technology, he said, we need to follow the same procedures by filing a flight plan. This is not something new or unknown to the ATC.

Boeing urges air taxi safety standards be as strict as for commercial jets

AIN Takes Xwing Autonomous Caravan for Spin

Taylor Explains Care & Feeding of Today’s Workforce to Maximize Success

Management and employee goals mesh nicely if companies change their work culture to positive developmental leadership – making over the workplace so that it is more attractive to younger workers and giving employees what they need to be more satisfied. These leadership skills result in a more productive, happier and stable workforce, according to Dr. Mark Taylor who spoke during last week’s RACCA meeting.  

For a copy of Dr. Taylor’s two Powerpoints contact: mark@taylorprograms.com

In a reprise visit to RACCA, Dr. Taylor noted the challenges up-and-coming GenZ – under 22 years old – have experienced, citing 9/11, the Great Recession, Covid, Climate Change and now another recession. This experience has taught them to be naturally pessimistic and it is up to leadership to provide a developmental culture that helps them grow and establishes contagious positivity.

“They are anxious and depressed because their American adolescence has been overwhelming,” he explained of what he called Gen NeXt and GenZ. “They are incredibly web dependent and completely unprepared for the workforce. They’ve had less self-esteem parenting and have become pragmatic scrappers with more pressure to succeed.”

Taylor noted one in six 18- to 24-year olds are disengaged from work, life and school in favor of video games. Only 51% are considering a four-year degree – a marked change since the 1960s when the push for college became the norm. This offers a significant opportunity for airlines who engage with flight and aviation maintenance schools that GenZers are already looking at.

“The good news is there are a lot of warm bodies looking for career paths that don’t involve going to college,” Dr. Mark Taylor told RACCA attendees last week.

“They are more aware of social justice and diversity, equity and inclusion and expect a company’s record on those issues to be pristine. They make that apparent early in the interview.”

Engaging the Workforce

“They can succeed with development but you must help them grow and build in success,” he said. “They need a lot of praise.

“Praise is a nutritional requirement especially when tied to how their work helps with the mission,” he continued. “And if this is not your management style or you don’t want to do it…welcome to the never-ending world of constant turnover.”

He noted middle managers often resist these new leadership tactics, preferring a more autocratic style. This means it is up to leadership to convince them their way is now counterproductive. Instead, they must help workers make behavioral and cognitive choices to make themselves happy, realize their full potential and enjoy lasting fulfillment.

“If you give people praise and a mission they will blossom,” he said. “It is the daily kudos that make a difference and what does that cost? Nothing. By helping workers be happier and more satisfied, they continue to produce, develop and grow. When people feel as if they are growing, learning, developing and contributing to the mission, they are more likely to stay. Give them a purpose, meaning and mission and that improves engagement, retention, results in more cooperation and more productivity.”

Taylor provided guidance for leadership for adopting these 21st Century employee engagement techniques including increased flexibility on work rules and recognizing employees have a life outside of work. He advised focusing less on what people should be doing and more on what they are doing right. Only then are they receptive to receiving corrections which must be designed to teach and improve rather than as punishment. Leaders should praise for specific behaviors and outcomes which offers subliminal direction and tells them what you want more of. In addition, he advised tying gratitude for their contribution to why it matters, the progress toward success and how it makes your job easier.

“When people mess up, start with recognition and appreciation of something good they have done that has contributed to your expectations they have met or tried to meet,” he advised. “Really, these are the techniques used by every kindergarten teacher. Offer the necessary feedback and relate it to your shared goals of company success. Help them figure out what they did wrong and how they need to do it differently. End with praise, your expectation of success and encouragement. Get their willingness to get the job done and a commitment.”

The key to today’s workers, he said, is their need to be doing something of value and importance, whether it is meaningful and makes a difference, all of which makes them more motivated. Managers must also keep them busy because a focused mind is happier than a wandering mind especially if they are focused on impacting the mission, learning, growing and developing.

Bracing Your Organization to Equip Gen Z in a Hybrid Working World

RACCA Sees Unprecedented Demand for Annual Conference

Hyannis, MA, September 28, 2022 – The Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association is experiencing unprecedented demand in attendance at its annual conference scheduled for November 1-3 at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas in Scottsdale, AZ. With the growth of the air cargo market over the past few years and advent of emerging technologies such as autonomous and electric cargo aircraft, organization is also seeing a dramatic upsurge in membership.

RACCA extends a special invitation to media who should contact Kathryn Creedy, kcreedy@raccaonline.org.

“With the increasing in interest in regional cargo airline market, we have expanded our program to include a special panel with all the planned autonomous cargo vehicle platforms which should be a highlight of the conference,” said President Stan Bernstein who has led the organization since its inception. “In addition, this will be the second year we’ll have a static display of the workhorses of the regional air cargo fleet. Registration has reached historic levels which reflects RACCA’s relevancy in providing access to regional and mainline cargo operators.”

The Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association (RACCA) represents approximately 50-member Part 135 and Part 121 air cargo carriers, with a fleet of about 1,000 aircraft. Their role in the aviation industry is meeting the cargo needs of small communities and connecting them to the national transportation aviation system, many via the global networks of FedEx, UPS and DHL.

With UPS, DHL and Fed Ex at the forefront of adopting drone, autonomous cargoliners and other emerging technologies, the Emerging Technologies and the Regional Air Cargo Industry panel will include Sabrewing, Beta Technologies and Reliable Robotics discussing autonomous and electric cargoliners. Reliable Robotics not only recently achieved a major program milestone with the FAA acceptance of certification basis of its advanced navigation and autoflight system, it is also creating its own cargo airline.

UPS, together with its UPS Flight Forward subsidiary, plans to purchase up to 150 electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Beta Technologies (BETA), a RACCA member, to augment its air service for select small and mid-size markets. Meanwhile, Fed Ex is testing out an Elroy Air’s cargo drone. Also, a member of RACCA, Elroy Air produces a hybrid-electric vertical take-off and landing plane being tested to connect with FedEx Express sorting facilities. DHL is the first to order 12 fully electric Alice eCargo planes from Eviation which has also been ordered by RACCA member Cape Air.

With workforce issues continuing the forefront of aviation concerns, the conference schedule includes two sessions on the emerging trends in today’s workforce with Dr. Mark Taylor, an award winning speaker recognized internationally as an authority and educator who is on the forefront of transformations in educational practice and workplace management. The conference will also have sessions on student sentiment for pursuing air cargo careers, the value of building time with a cargo airline and the pilot shortage outlook from University of North Dakota Professor and Director of Aviation Industry Relations at University of North Dakota Kent Lovelace.

Online registration for the 20th anniversary event ends October 5 but walkups will be available onsite. Both conference hotels are sold out now although other Scottsdale hotels are available.

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About RACCA

The Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association (RACCA) is dedicated to representing and serving approximately 50-member Part 135 and Part 121 cargo carriers who have about 1,000 aircraft in their fleets. Their role in the aviation industry is meeting the cargo needs of small communities and connecting them to the national transportation aviation system, many via the global networks of FedEx, UPS and DHL. RACCA focuses on improving safety and representing its members in Washington.

Pilots Discuss Why Flying Air Cargo is Great Career for Women

How do you fly a whale? MD11 Fleet Captain (Senior Manager) Captain Cheryl Pitzer, who loves the challenge of such unique cargo, can tell you because she did it for FedEx – extra planning and slow climbs and descents.

Meanwhile, when discussing unique cargo, UPS ONT Assistant Chief Pilot, B757/767 and Check Airman Captain Alyse Atkins indicated her moment came when she was part of the first vaccine airlift, solidifying for her, and all those listening to the Women Who Fly Air Cargo webinar, the importance of cargo carriers.

Quick Advancement

According to FAA data, approximately 6% of active pilots are women, and even fewer are cargo pilots so the webinar was clearly designed to attract more women to the industry. Its purpose was to discuss the life of a cargo pilot, the challenges and opportunities experienced, how Captains Adkins and Pitzer achieved their current positions and their work to encourage more women to pursue cargo careers.

Their advice for those interested in cargo flying, especially later in careers – jump in with both feet.

“Follow your passion because you could not be entering the workforce at a better time,” said Pitzer, who also volunteers for Orbis International’s flying hospital. “People are achieving their goals must faster than before. You don’t stay junior very long and the cargo world has a bigger variety of flying from out-and-back in a single day to week-long trips. You can find a schedule that fits.”

UPS ONT Assistant Chief Pilot, B757/767 and Check Airman Captain Alyse Atkins agreed. “There are so many opportunities working for a cargo carrier both now and in the distant future. Don’t let anything stand in your way. We all know about the pilot shortage because it’s on the news every day, but the issue extends across a lot of disciplines and we have a need for engineers and aviation maintenance technicians.”

“There are so many jobs besides flying the aircraft,” Pitzer agreed. “You can be an instructor, in the safety department, a simulator instructor. You can have a role where you are home a lot. The flexibility of the job is fantastic.”

Part of a panel organized by the International Aviation Women’s Association, the two captains, along with Cargo Airline Association Vice President Legislative Policy Gina Zuckerman blasted some of the myths about cargo flying including that it is all back-of-the-clock.

Atkins and Pitzer journeys included transitioning from flight attendant to pilot and charter flying and, for Cheryl, a stint flying freight on a Metroliner which was her pathway to FedEx.

What Cargo Carriers Look For

Both emphasized the importance of leadership roles such as experience as an instructor, chief pilot, working in union leadership or anything that shows the candidate has stepped up, has gone above and beyond such as service in your community.

“I didn’t realize I was going to be a minority in the field when I began,” said Atkins. “I don’t see myself as a female pilot. I’m just a pilot. That’s all that matters and that’s the mindset I’ve always had. We need more women in the field and that is why I’m using my voice for a call to action to attract more women to become pilots and aviation maintenance technicians.”

Pitzer agrees but noted she spent her entire career proving women pilots are not different. “We were proving we were pilots, not female pilots,” she said. “But the coming generations embrace being different and there are benefits to that but now I realize how true it is that you have to see it to be it.”

“Instead of stuffing yourself into male roles, it is important to celebrate the differences,” CAA’s Zuckerman interjected.

Atkins discussed the importance of her many mentors most of which were men who brought different kinds of guidance, support and development to her career and why she is paying if forward by being a mentor. “They told me what I needed to hear,” said Atkins. “If they disagreed, they told me, but they’d also tell me their proud of me and that I’m capable of doing more than I give myself credit for. But my best mentor is self-reflection which is also important.”

Why Cargo Flying is Better

First, they said one of the biggest benefits is the fact economic ups and down have a less acute impact than the passenger industry but, otherwise, there are also a lot of similarities with passenger flying since it is all based on seniority.  

“You bid what you want to fly,” said Pitzer. “You can bid on short or long trips. The beauty of that is accommodating the family. Throughout your career you can change how your schedule works.”

Atkins agreed but emphasized that she schedules her flights so she can participate in leadership opportunities such as serving on committees, managing pilots and giving check rides.

They emphasized, while their careers may be different, the challenges of a work-life balance is little different than any employee.

“As a professional pilot, I have a responsibility to be rested and fit for duty,” said Atkins. “But I have young kids to whom I have an obligation as well. But when I have to work my family understands my obligation. My husband and I have frank discussions on how to manage family and household. Managing that is not always easy but it’s doable with good support system. And when I am home, I am very present.”

It was clear the 100 listeners tuning into the webinar were interested in pursuing cargo operations, but it was also clear the discussion and the reassurances given by Captains Atkins and Pitzer went a long way in helping the decide on their next step. International Aviation Womens Association Women Who Fly Air Cargo webinar

Industry Awaits FAA Response to Overhaul of Part 135 Rest & Duty Regs

By John Hazlett, Vice President, Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association

Source: Republic Airlines

Saying current Part 135 rest and duty regulations are too prescriptive and do not account for current human factors science, the 20-member Aviation Rulemaking Committee on rest and duty time now awaits FAA’s response to its recommendation to overhaul the regulations.

The ARC was tasked with reviewing current rest and duty rules for Part 135 and related requirements of Part 121, evaluating the effectiveness and deficiencies of those rules, and proposing future rulemaking to improve the situation. The ARC’s report to the FAA included cost-benefit analysis and applicability of modern science related to rest and duty interaction. 

The Part 135 Pilot Rest and Duty Rules Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), including members from various Part 135 operators, including Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association (RACCA), submitted recommendations several months ago and continue to await FAA’s response.

“Our goal was to recommend updates to decades-old Part 135 rest and duty regulations to recognize the effects of circadian rhythm and cumulative duty time, among other variables, while considering the complexities of Part 135 on-demand operations,” said Kent Jackson, Jetlaw managing partner and Industry Chair of the Rest and Duty Rules ARC In a quote from Aviation International News (AIN), told NBAA.

AIN also quoted Ashley Smith, Jet Logistics president and NBAA’s representative on the ARC, who stated the ARC was mindful of the differences between Part 121 and 135.

As part of its evaluation in developing recommendations, the ARC leaned on fatigue science experts and utilized a series of risk-management exercises based on Part 135 scenarios, NBAA said, including such factors as numbers of legs to be flown, duty hours and time zones crossed, the impact of circadian rhythms, and duty day start time in current Part 135 operations, flight assignments that overlapped the “Window of Circadian Low” (WOCL), and likely future business models.

“John Hazlet and I served on the last ARC that tackled Part 135 Rest and Duty in 2003,” noted ARC Industry Chair Kent Jackson.  “That 2003 ARC did not lead to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. We hope that this effort does produce an NPRM and ultimately updated and enforceable rules.” 

RACCA Vice President Hazlet and Eric Walter, Chief Pilot of Bemidji Aviation Services, both serve on the current ARC, with Cape Air VP–Flight Operations Bill Cush as an alternate. The FAA, which is reviewing the recommendations, will publish them in the Federal Register for comment. NBAA anticipates it may be years before the ARC recommendations are implemented into regulation.

Global Cargo Infrastructure Needs Modernization

By Kathryn B. Creedy

Aeroterm Vice President-Development Greg Russell indicated serious investment is needed to update and modernize airport warehouse infrastructure to accommodate not only industry changes over the last 50 years but the dozens of new regulatory and technology requirements demanded by 21st Century cargo operations.

In an Aviation Pros podcast, Russell noted warehouse capacity is full and users need more space, a problem pre-dating covid. “Covid just magnified the problem,” he said. “Two statistics I recently read illustrates the issue. First McKinsey reported e-commerce experienced a decade of growth in just the first three months of the pandemic. In addition, IATA reported that during 2020, 80% of cross-border e-commerce was transported by air.”

He said the two trends were colliding with the fact that existing warehouses are between 20 and 50 years old and cannot accommodate the needs of modern cargo operations. Aeroterm, which is modernizing JFK cargo facilities and operations, sees warehouses that are inefficient because they were built at a time trucks were smaller. Today, airside ramps are inadequate as is building depth, column spacing, clear height truck docking, HVAC, queuing areas, lights roofs and a host of other building systems.

“We need to modernize and redevelop these areas to accommodate air cargo efficiency and technology standards,” he said. “We not only have to address this at the building level but also in the airport layout and planning ensuring proper planning promotes cargo efficiency and includes upgraded software, climate control, enhanced security and sustainability.”

Russell pointed to cold storage saying it varies widely from airport to airport which affected not only Covid vaccine distribution but shipping of pharmaceuticals and perishables which have become increasingly important.

Changes Needed to Increase Investment

Redevelopment of cargo areas will require investment which is now stymied by the length of ground lease terms. They are inadequate to amortize investment and recoup a return, Russell explained. Some of the problem is regulatory but others include the contracts between airlines and their cargo vendors.  

He recommended pushing out the ground lease cap beyond the regulatory 50 years enabling a longer time to amortize the investment and gain a return on what is an expensive proposition given the technology, regulatory and infrastructure requirements.

Noting project costs have skyrocketed, Russell said they now include technology and security requirements, traffic mitigation, software to track key performance metrics, deicing and accommodating electric ground support equipment.

In addition, ground handlers are looking for even shorter leases driven by the short-term contracts with airline partners which increases risk. Like regional airlines, they want to match the leases to the length of the contracts.

He also recommended airports take on the responsibility for “pad-ready” work perhaps with government assistance which would increase the attractiveness of investing in this kind of cargo infrastructure overhaul. Airports also have to make sure rates are cost effective for the different business models, he said.

Currently, Aeroterm is working on a $145 million investment at JFK, demolishing two aging facilities and replacing them with a 350,000 square foot consolidated facility incorporating all the features needed in modern cargo operations. The project is part of a multi-phase plan for broader redevelopment and consolidation of the cargo areas at the international gateway.

When questioned about whether the infrastructure plans moving through Congress could be applied to these projects, he noted the bi-partisan plan listed $25 billion for airports but also $7.5 billion for electric vehicles which could fund fleet replacement of gas to electric. This too brings increased cost burdens for new facilities which must accommodate the power demands required of such vehicles.

“It could incentivize investment,” he said. “But any approach should be consistent and accommodate other approaches to powering equipment in the future, such as hydrogen so we don’t find ourselves duplicating infrastructure. We need a unified vision on how we fuel or power our equipment.”

Tecnam Webinar Calls for Gov’ts to Think Aviation in Disaster Planning

Credit: Tecnam

Outlining the vital role of Regional Air Cargo Carriers Association members, RACCA President Stan Bernstein explained the massive vaccine distribution effort in connecting air cargo carrier hubs to small and medium sized communities.

“It’s a very sophisticated supply chain and very experienced, to say the least,” said Bernstein, describing the RACCA member efforts across the country as “almost business as usual.”

But, even in the U.S. accessing truly remote communities where commercial service is not available can be a challenge making general aviation the perfect complement to commercial services offered by UPS, FedEx and their regional cargo partners.

Tecnam Managing Director Giovanni Pascale Langer pointed out only general aviation can truly meet the needs of rapid distribution in underserved markets. If it can overcome the many hurdles in its way. Those hurdles include lack of awareness in how GA can help and advanced planning to overcome the silos represented by regulatory and health authorities who don’t know who to tap into aviation networks.

“In North America, general aviation is well organized but not so in Europe,” said Tecnam’s Walter Da Costa. “For Tecnam, we continue to work on creating the platform for the industry to work together.”

National Air Transportation Association Senior Vice President Ryan Waguespack agreed leveraging the networks of GA airports and general aviation itself provides the roadmap for what can be developed.

Webinar Points the Way

Remarks were part of a webinar organized by Tecnam which included RACCA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and NATA discussing what needs to be done to make aviation a genuine part of disaster relief.

The areas around the world served by Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), according to MAF Disaster Response and International Development Expert Daniel Juzi, would take two to three years before Covid vaccinations are complete without aviation, giving the virus time to mutate and re-infect those areas already vaccinated.

Credit: Mission Aviation Fellowship

Idaho-based MAF, which serves 3,000 airstrips with 65,000 to 85,000 flights and 180,000 passengers worldwide every year, partners with health organizations who deliver medical services. Juzi indicated local governments and health authorities were not geared toward using aviation in their plans while the military is the distribution default in other countries.

“A challenge we have seen and already know is there are considerable hurdles,” he explained. “Health authorities are very much directing efforts in some areas but not others. It is also high cost in many remote areas and using aviation could bring the cost down.”

Tecnam’s Langer said the difficulties of vaccine transport and the unique cold-chain requirements prompted the creation of its P2012 TravelCare configured with a special refrigerator.

“Since the pandemic hit us, we have seen that everyone was playing [their] role,” said Langer. “Today, we want to say out loud that general aviation is here to do the same. We have the power to bring advantages and help where nobody else can.”

Even North American Must to Organized to Tap Aviation

Both GAMA and NATA pointed out leveraging aviation is an uphill battle even in North America.

Waguespack pointed to three states leveraging general aviation to not only distribute vaccines but, in some cases, turn airports into vaccination sites. While Michigan and Alaska have long turned to aviation to meet their transportation needs, the role in Montana was an eye opener, he explained.

“The pandemic is a golden opportunity for general aviation to step up,” said Waguespack. “Private aircraft and general aviation airports played their part. In Montana, a veterans affairs group worked with companies using Learjets to not only distribute vaccines but carry nurses to administer them. Let’s say you go into a community and you have 500 doses for 500 potential people, and only 400 show up. One of the challenges that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is facing when we were in discussions with them is that those remaining doses couldn’t be returned to the hub, so they have to be thrown out. General aviation can ensure those doses are used by moving quickly to another area for vaccination.”

Credit: Tecnam

In addition to government health and regulatory authorities, the maze of approvals for including aviation is often stymied by bureaucracy, according to GAMA’s Vice President of European Affairs Kyle Martin, who reported GA supported Doctors Without Borders.

“GAMA wrote to the European Commission and all the EU member states in early December effectively offering our services to help distribute vaccines,” he said. “[…A]nd their reply was quite clear that, whilst the commission procured the vaccines for all the EU member states, they were not in charge of distribution. […D]istribution was, therefore, left to each individual member state or, in some cases, down to different regions of that member state. These authorities don’t think about general aviation as a useful asset in the toolbox. It gives massive flexibility for these missions and can access remote locations on islands, jungles and mountain regions.”

Overcoming Hurdles with Turn-Key Solutions

That problem can only be overcome by advanced emergency planning in which all levels of aviation are included in initial distribution planning to complement commercial and charter services. To make that happen, said a panelist, aviation must build a coalition and develop the systems and resources necessary to convince governments that it has a turn-key solution for using aviation in disasters. But all stakeholders need to be at the table, including commercial airlines to assure efficient use of all assets aviation has to offer.

It is all about developing the networks that can spring into action and tying them in with national health services and regulatory authorities, suggested Juzi.

Credit: Mission Aviation Fellowship

“You have to have the regulators on board,” he said. “Being willing and able is one thing but how can we do this legally and be compliant? We can, if we think about ahead of time.”

Aviation, whether commercial, cargo, general or business aviation, has always responded to disaster before being asked delivering water, medical supplies and disaster relief to stricken areas. However, without a formalized plan at the governmental level, these precious resources often go to waste, prolonging the suffering of affected populations.

For instance, a global luxury helicopter company responded to the twin hurricanes of Irma and Maria in 2017 by offering helicopter service in the Caribbean to both bring in relief supplies and ferry out evacuees. Governments had no idea what to do with such assets and did not take advantage of the offer which only sought to cover operating costs. Helicopters are not the only assets, insists Martin.

“Because a lack of awareness of the advantages of using GA in crisis,” Martin added, “most attention is concentrated on a few transportation methods like helicopters so there is plenty of untapped opportunity for leveraging the industry during crises and disasters. GA really offers a significant advantage in terms of flexibility. Shorter field lengths, steeper approaches, smaller shipment size, lower cost all to benefit local governments in delivering services.”

NATA and RACCA are continuing discussions to create a coalition of like-minded aviation organizations to organize and develop the resources to leveraging aviation resources to aid in health-related relief efforts now and in the future.

Tecnam Aircraft Hosts Webinar with Industry Experts to Explore the Role of General Aviation in COVID Vaccine Distribution (prweb.com)

Cargo Flying Offers Great Career, Work/Life Opportunities

“If you desire to have a lifestyle and career where you are able to control quality of time with your family,” said Captain Handel Wellington, a UPS 747 flight training supervisor, “if you are interested in a career that gives you the flexibility of seeing the world and flying different equipment and working with people of different nationalities, air cargo is definitely the way to go.”

Credit: Shutterstock

Wellington’s comment was only one of many extolling the benefits of the air cargo industry during a recent webinar on pilot opportunities. During the session RACCA President Stan Bernstein and pilots Josh Hernandez (AirNet II) and Jody Prior (Empire Airlines) discussed the attraction of air cargo flying careers, provided an excellent recruiting tool for the industry. They, along with Captain Wellington, articulated how great the job is, largely because of the family atmosphere that keeps them at it.

The session was impressive for the enthusiasm for working in the air cargo industry and equally impressive for the fact it was the most diverse panel of speakers I’ve seen at any meeting. It illustrated if you see it you can be it. Moderator Vince Mickens of Private Aviation Media Group, Wellington and Hernandez are black and, of course, Prior represented women.

The opportunities are great,” said Bernstein. “The cargo industry is remarkably stable industry and if you look at the most recent 20 years you’ve seen a lot of airline bankruptcies on the passenger side but not in cargo. On the regional side, since it is an entry-level position, we’re one of the few businesses that can hire relatively low time pilots because so many members use aircraft like the Caravan in single-pilot operations. Often that’s the first step, then pilots move up to multi-engine aircraft like the Saab 340, the Beech 1900 and the ATR so there is always plenty of opportunity for growth. Cargo offers excellent pay opportunities and great deal of stability compared to the passenger side which is not always the best solution for a pilot.”

Prior likes the work/life balance she has at Empire. “People come to air cargo thinking it a steppingstone and then fall in love with it and make it a career,” said Prior, who seemed to speak directly to millennials who demand a better work/life balance. “Flying cargo is fantastic. I spend a lot more time at home than in the air which is important because I have three daughters. Regional passenger pilots are away three to four days at a time. While I can have a week away, a lot of times I sleep in my own bed at night and have a set schedule far enough in advance that I am able to plan. We are also salaried employees which is unique for the airline industry where most pilots are paid by the hour and only paid while they are flying. That’s how cargo compares with the passenger industry.”

747-8F First Flight K64878-35_FA252584

Captain Wellington agreed saying his colleagues with 25 or 30 years’ experience often express the pleasure they have working in the cargo industry because it is like a family. Wellington entered the industry around 9/11 and, with few pilot prospects, became a loadmaster on L-1011s and DC-8s.

“One of the best things I can tell you is sometimes you have to take a position that is not exactly what you want but it does keep you within the industry and progressing,” he said. “Along your career path, you have to be willing to accept the detours because life is not a smooth path.”

Hernandez agreed perseverance is key to achieving goals but also said networking is a key strategy. “You have to stay diligent and pursue your dream relentlessly,” he said, adding he was inspired at a young age when his mother took him to Chicago’s air and water show.

He is a product of the Young Eagles where the pilot for his introductory flight became his mentor encouraging him during his quest to make aviation a career. Hernandez just joined AirNet II to fly cargo having spent time in the business aviation industry.

“He sent me a notice for an internship at National Business Aviation Association and I thought they’d never hire me, but he said just apply,” said Hernandez. “I learned about business flying and the language of aviation which helped me with networking. I won two scholarships to go to the conference and network. Networking and learning the language and how to move within the industry is key. And humility and the ability to put yourself out there. Being willing to shake hands and meet people can take you so far.”

Hernandez was attracted to cargo for its challenges. “I wanted to do something fast paced,” he said. “There is a lot of night flying, IFR and so many different types of flying. That is a challenge for me. It is a great opportunity to sharpen my skills.”

Wellington, a member of the Organization for Black Aerospace Professionals, agreed. “Networking is the key to success. No one can do anything alone. I never would have gotten where I am without networking. You have so many different networking opportunities to succeed in the industry. You just have to network.”

Prior emphasized leaning it to different assignments. “I’m growing my resume with different skills,” she said. “I was a flight instrutor early in my career and that looks great on a resume. And, now, at Empire, I teach classes as a ground instructor and I’m part of the Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) review committee which reviews pilot reports on things they may have done wrong. It is part of our safety committee which develops and implements safety measures for the company. Take on as much of this work as you can.”

Bernstein added companies like FedEx and UPS are very stable, well financed, have the best quality training and equipment and are very dedicated to their employees. He indicated air cargo has become part of everyone’s everyday lives, making it much more valuable given public dependence on e-commerce and vaccine distribution.

“That is what makes a career in air cargo high on the list for pilots,” he said. “Air cargo is far less volatile than the passenger industry. The future is very bright. Because of the contraction of the passenger industry, we have a perfect storm because the number of pilots available to return will be far less because of early retirements. There will be a dramatic and profound vacancy so young folks who are in the right position should continue gathering their hours flying cargo. Once airlines begin to recover, the industry will be more wide open with opportunities than has ever been dreamt of before.”

Cessna’s exciting new SkyCourier 408 has twice the capacity of the Cessna Caravan. Photo: FedEx

Prior also expressed excitement about the advent of the Cessna SkyCourier soon to be entering the FedEx fleet. “It’s a single-pilot, twin for cargo and it says something about the fact the industry is able to develop its own aircraft specifically for cargo,” she said noting Empire flies for FedEx. “It opens up more channels for delivery. In addition, because it is a single-pilot aircraft, I think the plan is to have the right seat occupied to allow lower-time pilots to build hours and experience.”

Flying in the air cargo industry is not much discussed, according to Micken, who moderated the session, making this webinar one of the more important for the industry.

To view the session click here.