There are not enough helicopter forestry pilots in Spain, says Luis Miñano Gómez, General Director of European Flyers

Fecha de publicación: 14/08/2023
Fecha de modificación: 21/03/2024

Helicopter pilots are needed in the rescue services
Helicopter pilots are needed in the rescue services

In Spain there is currently an urgent need for pilots to fight the wildfires that hit the country every year. The worst data of the century thus far was recorded in 2022, after having reached a burnt surface of up to 3.5 times greater than the previous year, far greater than the average 67,000 hectares between the years 2006 and 2021, also including the evacuation of more than 30,000 inhabitants from their homes. These records, unfortunately, make Spain the leading country in the European Union with the most suffered wildfires in 2022, according to the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS). 

Employability 100% as Pilotos forestales helicopter

The Association of Aerial Works and Emergencies (ATAIRE) has informed that Spain will be able to make use of 260 to 270 aerial vehicles for the fighting of said fires. In this same way, Luis Miñano Gómez, General Director of European Flyers states: “We have observed more frequently that our students get into jobs instantly since the employment rate is 100%. There are not enough firefighting pilots to cope with the demand in Spain, which is why this formation is more necessary than ever. Therefore, there not being enough specialized pilots is a real problem for society.” 

To this, we can add the unfamiliarity with the sector. According to a survey we conducted with 2,000 people between the ages of 15 and 20, 42% did not know that pilots can form part of the emergency services. “At our school, we have signed an agreement with Avincis (formerly known as Babcock), a leading company in aerial emergency services, with which we intend to cover the great demand for these professionals, guaranteeing their access to a job practically immediately upon finishing their training”, said Miñano Gómez. 

A profession connected with the Environment

“At European Flyers we are very aware of this situation, and every year we emphasize the urgency of forming pilots with this profile. We want to contribute to the fight against wildfires by offering the best specialized and qualified training, especially for the younger people who are interested in the world of aviation. By doing this, Spain will be able to count on a greater group of pilots to combat the big wildfires.” concludes the General Director of European Flyers Pilot School..