The FAA released an NPRM today that deals with the training and qualification to be required to fly for an airline (Part 121). It has the potential to affect not only our current flight training operation also the pipeline of future airline pilots.
To quote a recent press release of the National Association of Flight Instructors (NAFI):
An FAA press release on the NPRM noted these highlights:
- Consistent with a mandate in the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010, the proposed rule would require first officers – also known as co-pilots – to hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate, requiring 1,500 hours of pilot flight time. Currently, first officers are required to have only a commercial pilot certificate, which requires 250 hours of flight time. The proposal also would require first officers to have an aircraft type rating, which involves additional training and testing specific to the airplanes they fly.
- A requirement for a pilot to have a minimum of 1,000 flight hours as a pilot in air carrier operations that require an ATP prior to serving as a captain for a U.S. airline.
- Enhanced training requirements for an ATP certificate, including 50 hours of multi-engine flight experience and completion of a new FAA-approved training program.
- An allowance for pilots with fewer than 1,500 hours of flight time, but who have an aviation degree or military pilot experience, to obtain a “restricted privileges” ATP certificate. These pilots could serve only as a first officer, not as a captain. Former military pilots with 750 hours of flight time would be able to apply for an ATP certificate with restricted privileges. Graduates of a four-year baccalaureate aviation degree program would be able to obtain an ATP with 1,000 hours of flight time, only if they also obtained a commercial pilot certificate and instrument rating from a pilot school affiliated with the university or college.
This NPRM is not a final rule, but a call for feedback to the FAA. All feedback received by the FAA will be closely reviewed after the comment period is closed and prior to any final rule publication.
The full text of the NPRM can be viewed at http://www.faa.gov/