The Mexican government is now allowing general and business aviation pilots to file advanced passenger information system (APIS) manifests directly when arriving in or departing from the country, eliminating the previous requirement to use a third-party flight-planning provider to do so.
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.
China is facing a chronic shortage of pilots to fly its growing fleet of business aircraft. Moderating an ABACE show seminar on crew training in Shanghai yesterday, consultant Christopher Jackson said the current backlog of orders from China indicates a need for an additional 500 to 1,000 private aviation pilots. He said operators in China typically need a ratio of five pilots per aircraft.
The UK business aviation lobby has launched a vigorous campaign to convince the British government that its plans to extend the existing airline passenger duty (APD) to private aviation are discriminatory and disproportionate.
The requirement for pilots to be certified fit to fly by a medical doctor is a universal feature of aviation regulatory bodies. The International Civil Aviation Organization sets the standard, which individual states can modify. According to ICAO, “To become a professional pilot or an air traffic controller, an applicant must be in normal good health (including normal hearing, normal vision and normal color perception).”
Since the Transportation Security Administration released its plans for a Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP), business aviation providers and pilots have reacted swiftly and vociferously. Reaction to the proposed regulation runs the gamut from strident opposition to resigned acceptance for what operators view as unwarranted governmental meddling in the functioning of the industry.
Despite U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) assurances that it would streamline the process to allow European charter operators to fly into the U.S., the procedure is still difficult, say operators.
Although the market for charter and fractional ownership is still strong in the U.S., operators might soon face a shortage of qualified pilots and maintenance technicians.
General aviation groups got in under the wire last month in commenting on proposed new rules for general aviation aircraft traversing U.S. border crossings. Most of their concerns are centered on how aircraft operators should submit manifest information.