When the FAA implemented more rigorous minimum standards (the “1,500-hour ATP” rule) for airline first officers last year, many in the industry expressed concern about a shortage of pilots meeting the requirement. Under the new regulation first officers must hold an ATP certificate, which requires 1,500 hours total time. Previously, first officers were required to have only a commercial pilot certificate, which requires just 250 hours of flight time.
Pilot certification in the United States
Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), father of the original Pilot’s Bill of Rights (PBOR), is proposing some amendments and additions to his original law. According to a press release issued by the senator’s office at the end of June, “[T]he first Pilot’s Bill of Rights was a victory for the aviation community and made possible by the support of pilots and industry leaders across the nation.
Thirty-two members of the U.S. House of Representatives General Aviation Caucus have asked the U.S. DOT to accelerate review of a FAA proposal to reform the third-class medical process. Under the proposal, the FAA would allow holders of private pilot certificates and valid driver’s licenses to fly without a third-class medical certificate.
The AirPooler general aviation ride-sharing system has advised pilot-members not to list any flights, pending a discussion with the FAA to clarify AirPooler’s regulatory standing.
Until recently, the sharing economy enabled by modern technology has been limited to industries less regulated than aviation such as taxicabs (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar), hotels (Airbnb) and cars (RelayRides). But now the sharing economy is coming to general aviation, in the form of new ways to rent airplanes (OpenAirplane) and systems for sharing expenses and empty seats in Part 91 non-commercial aircraft (AirPooler and Flytenow).
The Department of Transportation’s recent requirement for first officers to have 1,500 hours is taking its toll on air service to some parts of the U.S, a Regional Airline Association spokesman said during a recent hearing on air service to small communities before the U.S. House aviation subcommittee. Brian Bedford, president and CEO of Republic Airways, urged the FAA and Congress to work together to fix the pilot supply challenges created by the new qualification issue by allowing structured credit for more of the logged flight hours required for an air transport pilot certificate.
U.S. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta on Tuesday made his second appearance in three years at the annual Regional Airline Association Convention.
Between 2010 and 2012 the number of active GA aircraft declined by 6.4 percent, to 209,034 from 223,370, according to the 2012 General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey (GA Survey). But the FAA said that the 2012 GA Survey recorded the partial effect of the 2010 Rule for Re-Registration and Renewal of Aircraft Registration. According to the agency, the complete effect of this rule, which requires all aircraft registered in the U.S. to re-register within the three-year period from 2011 to 2013, will be noted after the 2013 survey.
The FAA will begin formal rulemaking to consider whether to allow private pilots to use a driver’s license in lieu of an FAA medical certificate in some circumstances, the agency announced on April 2. The announcement comes two years after the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) filed a joint petition asking the FAA to expand the third-class medical exemption to cover more recreational pilots.
After the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) submitted a petition for exemption for the third-class medical requirement for private or recreational pilots on March 20, 2012, more than 14,000 comments overwhelmingly in support of the exemption were submitted to the FAA. However, the agency failed to act on the exemption request, and now Congress is exerting pressure on the FAA to expand the third-class medical exemption, which currently applies to sport pilots.
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