Israel’s national aviation regulator has approved a pilot salary increase of up to 20,000 shekels ($4,200) for a newly hired pilot for the country’s air force.
The Israeli Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) voted Monday to grant a two-year extension to the pilot’s base pay, which is up to 7,500 shekeles ($2,300) per month.
The pilot’s salary is the highest in the world, with the U.S. at 8,700 shekelers per month and the U,K.
at 6,900 shekells.
The average in Israel is 5,000, said ICAA chief of staff Efraim Katz.
Israel’s airforce, the countrys largest and most powerful military, has been struggling for years to attract pilots, who have become increasingly important in the military’s efforts to win allies over to its military agenda.
In November, Israel announced plans to hire around 2,000 new pilots.
The ICAI said that the new pilots would be part of a new “pilot workforce” that would be integrated with the military, which hopes to expand its operational capabilities in the coming years.
ICAA director-general Yossi Cohen said in a statement that the pilot salary hike is an important step in the air force’s plan to attract more pilots.
“The pilot is a key part of our effort to make sure that we have the capability to compete globally in a dynamic environment,” Cohen said.
“We are proud that the ICAAs decision is an indicator of the continued progress that we are making in that effort.”
Israel’s military has been increasingly reliant on pilots to train its forces, especially since the United States began training the Israeli military in 2009.