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Nationwide pilot shortage leading to increase in Ann Arbor airport traffic

Dwight Burdette
Ann Arbor Municipal Airport

The airline industry is facing a significant shortage of pilots across North America. Some studies show the shortage will only increase over the next decade. As a result, the Ann Arbor Municipal Airporthas seen an increase in flight traffic with more people learning to fly.

Five years ago, the Ann Arbor airport was doing around 60,000 operations. Those are combined take-offs and landings by aircraft. City airport manager Matt Kulhanek says this year, they are on pace to get close to 80,000.

“When you look at how our flight operations numbers have grown over the last three years, I mean, that’s primarily the flight schools. And that’s people that need to fly because right now there’s a good opportunity and a good position to be in if you want to be a professional pilot.”

Kulhanek says many people don’t know that Ann Arbor has the fifth busiest airport in the state.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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