Professional Aviation Board of Certification

Helping ensure that licensed pilots have the knowledge they need to be well prepared to enter aviation training programs for new hire pilots

A Growing Global Pilot Shortage

Vaccines and the pilot shortage

In 2020, thousands of Pilots were laid-off and not expected to return for 4 to 5 years. But vaccines have made it likely that those Pilots will be rehired over the next 2-3 years.

Industry forecast for the future

During the Pandemic, airfreight became the primary use of air transport. But vaccines have reduced the Covid threat so leisure air travel is now in high demand, most heavily in Asia, followed by Western Nations. Business air travel will recover more slowly. As Business travel begins to recover, pilot retirements will steadily increase and the aviation industry will again face a growing global pilot shortage.

of recent flight school graduates are NOT well prepared to the enter the Part 121 or 135 airline / air operators’ training programs that will qualify them to fly “the Line” for that operator.



PABC’s testing is a Gap Analysis tool that improves the quality and effectiveness of both Ab Initio and Air Operators’ training programs for the mutual benefit of: Aspiring Professional Pilots, Air Operators, Pilot Trainers and the flying Public.

The PABC approach

Changing outcomes

PABC’s testing is designed to:

  • Enhance pilots’ preparedness to complete new hire training
  • Recognize high-quality Ab Initio pilot training programs
  • Improve air transport safety and operational effectiveness

PABC will achieve these aims through its five-pronged approach:

  1. Continuing to monitor and conduct industry research
  2. Establishing and maintaining training criteria
  3. Delivering knowledge and competency testing
  4. Certifying pilots who test as well-qualified
  5. Recognizing aviation training providers that consistently graduate qualified cadet pilots
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Annual Demand for New Qualified Pilots in North America


Annual Demand for New Qualified Pilots Globally

PABC background

About us

PABC is a U.S. Non-Profit organization formed by the U.S. Air Transportation Assn (ATA/A4A) in 1996 to solve the shortage of pilots needed to replace those who were soon to retire.

As colleges, universities and flight academies expanded their Ab Initio programs, PABC shifted its focus to:

  • Create professional level Training Standards for the knowledge that aspiring professional pilots would need on entry into the “new hire” qualification courses. 
  • Develop No-Jeopardy, Gap Analysis tests to assess the preparedness of New Hire Pilots to enter those airline courses.
  • Alert Ab Initio program managers to any Knowledge Gaps that PABC’s testing identifies, based on their former students’ test results.

PABC Serves Our Stakeholders

Like physicians, PABC is dedicated to “Doing No Harm” to those we serve. We work in support of their needs while contributing to improvements we see as being needed for the safety and betterment of the General Public and our Industry Stakeholders.

Professional Cadet Pilots

Enables New Hire pilots to enter company and aircraft type training well-prepared to keep pace with the knowledge and skill development demands of the course

Airlines and Business Aviation

Reduces New Hire pilot training time, costs, and failures while keeping Operators’ course completions and staffing needs on-schedule

Aviation Educators

Ensures that Ab Initio programs and instructors fully prepare cadet pilots to enter the demanding courses provided by Airline and Business Operators

Regulatory  Authorities

Augments regulators’ awareness of the continuous need to keep pace with industry changes in training needs and methods

Aviation Manufacturers

Enables New Hire pilots to operate aircraft in way that attains the performance, efficiencies and life-cycle expectations the aircraft was designed to achieve

Aviation Insurers

Reduces costly operational errors, incidents/accidents by enhancing New Hire pilots’ understanding of equipment and situational awareness of operational issues

The Public

Enhances travelers’ safety through proper flight planning, ground and flight management, and in keeping passengers well informed of issues that might impact their expected travel plans

Premier Providers

Outstanding training programs

An example of PABC’s commitment to improving aviation is its recognition of Ab Initio Pilot Training organizations whose graduates consistently achieve scores of 80% or higher on professional level, flight-based knowledge and competency tests. That program promises to be a highly effective method of motivating that Ab Initio Training Providers to significantly upgrade the quality of their programs.