The United Nations aviation agency has launched a video contest to try to get young adults interested in the airline industry, warning that a worldwide pilot shortage looms.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)'s YouTube contest asks entries to "excite young people about becoming an aviation professional."
The winners will be invited to the World Aviation Training Conference and Tradeshow (WATS) in Orlando, Florida in April. Contest rules are available on its website at
The agency, which serves as a forum for cooperation in aviation safety, security, efficiency and regularity for 191 member states, is worried about the industry's ability to meet a growing demand for flights -- expected to nearly double to 50 million annually by 2030.
The number of aircraft, meanwhile, is expected to nearly triple to 151,000.
In 2010, there were an estimated 460,000 licensed pilots in the world. More than 980,000 are expected to be needed by 2030. In other words, about 52,500 pilots will have to be trained each year to meet demand -- 8,146 more than the forecasted capacity of flight schools to graduate.
Similarly, an annual shortage of 18,000 new maintenance personnel are expected.
The worker shortage will be widely felt, but more so in Asia, Africa and Latin America which have seen the largest growth in airline passengers of late, ICAO spokesman Stephane Dubois told AFP.