BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La - The U.S. Air Force announced changes in it's height requirement for pilots. 

Previously, pilots had to be a minimum of 5 feet, 4 inches and no taller than 6-foot-5. 

There is now no minimum height requirement. 

That all changed due to a shortage in pilots over the years. Officials said they are also considering diversity in gender and race when filling the slots.  

The Air Force said there is a requirement of 21,000 pilots at all times. There are currently at least 2,000 pilot slots open. 

Air Force Capt. Leila Gerenscer, Officer-In-Charge of weapons and navigation for B-52 aircraft on Barksdale Air Force Base, said the change is for the better. 

"I personally, think this is a great step for the Air Force," Gerenscer said. "Because from personal experience, back in the day, I actually wanted to be selected fr a pilot slot. And I was denied because of my height."

Gerenscer stands 5-foot-3, just one inch shy of the previous requirement.  

She hopes the changes will encourage more women to aspire to become pilots.  

"I am definitely looking at the opportunity to again submit my application for a pilot slot next year," Gerenscer said. 


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