FAA proposes to increase co-pilot training hours

February 29, 2012

Washington – The Federal Aviation Administration on Feb. 27 published a notice of proposed rulemaking (.pdf file) that would increase training qualifications for passenger airline co-pilots.

The NPRM would require co-pilots to obtain Airline Transport Pilot certificates – which require 1,500 training flight hours – in addition to specialized training based on the aircraft they fly. Under current regulations, co-pilots only need to hold commercial pilot certificates, which require 250 flight hours.

According to the NPRM, FAA officials hope the ruling would increase airway safety by ensuring airplane operators have sufficiently high levels of training before being allowed to professionally operate aircraft. Comments on the NPRM are due April 28.