Abstract for:Securing Soft Landings: Strategic planning of a pilot workforce chain in response to a demand shock

This presentation describes a strategic workforce planning issue that occurs perhaps once per decade for commercial airlines (and military air forces): as a result of a the introduction of a new type of aircraft, significant numbers of pilots need to be selected, adequately trained and allocated to fly this new aircraft. The demand shock for trained pilots that results from such a new aircraft  needs to be absorbed by a workforce that is heavily constrained by federal regulations and union agreements and that is characterized by long training and experience delays and bottlenecks in training and simulation capacity. How can airlines cope with such challenges? This paper describes a project in which a system dynamics simulation model was developed for a European airline to deal with such an demand shock. The paper describes the modeling process, the broad structure of the model and some of the key insights and business benefits from the modeling effort, as well as suggestions for further research and managerial insights.