FAA Proposes To Tighten Airline Pilot Requirements

 - February 28, 2012, 2:30 PM

The FAA issued a proposed rule yesterday that would require first officers who fly for U.S. passenger and cargo airlines to hold an ATP certificate, thereby requiring new-hires to have at least 1,500 hours TT. Under the proposal, first officers would also need an aircraft type rating.

According to the proposed rule, a pilot upgrading to captain at a U.S. airline would be required to have a minimum of 1,000 flight hours as a pilot in air carrier operations that require an ATP. The rule would also “enhance” training requirements for an ATP certificate, “including 50 hours of multi-engine flight experience and completion of a new FAA-approved training program.”

However, the FAA said it would relax ATP time requirements for some. Pilots with fewer than 1,500 hours TT who have an aviation degree from a four-year university (1,000 hours TT minimum) or military pilot experience (750 hours TT minimum) could obtain a “restricted privileges” ATP certificate if the rule is enacted. These pilots could serve only as a first officer, not as a captain, at a U.S. airline.

Public comments will be accepted until April 29, the FAA said.