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 licensing and certification
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.
Helicopter operators have voiced concerns about Australia’s new flight-crew licensing law (CASR Part 61), claiming few people understand the regulation’s content or impact because the rules are badly written and too complex. Already postponed once, Part 61 is scheduled to take effect on September 1 this year. In a letter to Australian prime minister Warren Truss, Australian Helicopter Industry Association (AHIA) president Peter Crook requested the new rules again be put on hold to give operators time to propose revisions.
The number of training programs preparing flight crews for the new multi-crew pilot license (MPL) continues to multiply. Before year-end, there will likely be 30 or more active MPL programs around the world with well over 3,000 cadets in the pipeline.
The MPL is intended as a competency-based training license focused on preparing new pilots to become airline first officers. Guidance for the MPL was published by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2006.
The number of training programs preparing flight crew for the new multi-crew pilot license (MPL) continues to multiply. Before year-end, there will likely be 30 or more active MPL programs around the world with well over 3,000 cadets in the pipeline. The MPL is intended as a competency-based training license focused on preparing new pilots to become airline first officers.
China’s great need for airline pilots is well documented, not least by Boeing, which last year estimated that the country’s fast-expanding air transport industry will need some 77,400 pilots through 2032 (plus 93,900 mechanics). According to the airframer, that represents around 40 percent of the overall requirement across the Asia Pacific region over the same period.
Piper Aircraft delivered the 550th Meridian turboprop single yesterday to a Swedish customer, Håkan Svensson, the CEO of Öckerö-based Aston Harald. This also marked the first new Meridian to enter service in Sweden. Svensson, who is pursuing his pilot license, plans to use the aircraft in his maritime and transportation consultancy business. The Meridian will be operated by a professional pilot until he achieves sufficient ratings and experience to fly as pilot-in-command in European airspace.
Pilots planning for a career that requires certification to airline transport pilot (ATP) standards will need to set aside thousands of dollars to pay for additional training mandated by new FAR 61.156. The training is required before the candidate can take the ATP written and practical tests (beginning August 1 next year), and the portion that will cost the most is 10 hours of simulator training, including at least six hours in a full-flight simulator (FFS) meeting Level C standards and replicating a multiengine turbine-powered airplane weighing at least 40,000 pounds.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration expects its new first officer qualification rule for commercial pilots that require, with certain exceptions, 1,500 hours of flight time and an air transport pilot certificate to appear in the government’s Federal Register on Monday.
August 2 is the implementation date for the new Part 121 regulation that requires all cockpit crewmembers to hold a Part 61-issued ATP certificate. That also means those airmen must have a first-class medical certificate if they intend to exercise the privileges of that ATP certificate. The FAA emphasizes that P.L. 111-216 does not include any grandfathering provisions for current flight-crew members who currently hold commercial pilot certificates.
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