Regional airlines have risen to new heights in recent years as major carriers outsource to the smaller firms. But as the regional outfits have grown, so have safety concerns, reports the Chicago Tribune. Pilots for the smaller airlines are often driven by modest salaries to work overtime, and some wonder whether they’re getting adequate training amid a series of recent accidents.
While smaller airlines are held to the same safety and training standards as larger ones, the big carriers devote up to five times as much cash to pilot pay, benefits, and training. “We’re professionals who are responsible for so many lives day in and day out, yet we are so severely underpaid,” says one new pilot, who makes about $22,000 a year.