Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Air Force to Pay Drone Pilots $35K Bonus to Re-Enlist

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Air Force to Pay Drone Pilots $35K Bonus to Re-Enlist

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON - Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said Wednesday that she is planning to pay drone pilots a $35,000 a year retention bonus to encourage them to stay in the service. The 35,000 a year retention bonus would be an increase over $25,000 bonus the service has been allowed to provide. And all drone pilots would be eligible once their service contract is up.

- the associated press

She added that Air Force needs the authority to increase bonuses for all pilots in order to address the shortage.

The Air Force has grappled with pilot retention for some time, particularly as airlines look to hire them, promising higher salaries and benefits. James said the pilot shortage could grow to 1,000 in a couple years.

"The airlines are forecast to be hiring a lot more, she said, adding that the Air Force also needs to increase its training of new pilots. …

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