Date of Award

Spring 5-2014

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis


Management and International Business

First Advisor

William C. Smith

Advisor Department

Economic and Workforce Development


This is an exploratory research study of the possible similarities in risk propensity between aviators and potential aviators and to determine the feasibility of using focused marketing strategies to increase the number of annually issued pilot certificates. This exploratory research was chosen for its significance in that there is a steady decline in the number of pilot certificates being issued annually (Blair, 2012), and there is also a dramatic increase in the number of airline pilots reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65 (Cary, 2012). The result of these two combined circumstances may cause an acute aviator shortage in the airline industry.

The researcher for this exploratory study hopes to provide preliminary evidence of a relationship between the people in the population who are more willing to accept risk and interest in gaining more information about getting a pilot's license and flying a plane. Once a particular population can be identified as distinct from the rest of the population then marketing actions can be considered by airlines, flight schools, and advertising agencies in order to help mitigate the effects of the upcoming aviator shortage for airlines. (Cary, 2012) As an exploratory study, the hope is to provide a suitable framework upon which future research can examine this topic.