Civil aviation faces a shortage of pilots due to some legislative and regulatory changes to the rules impacting the qualification of and hours available for pilots. The situation requires creative thinking by the regulators, industry (P121 and 135 carriers as well as business aviation) and the flight training schools.
This article from AirForceTimes.com reports that the FAA is considering lowering the requirements for the restricted ATP certificate from 1,500 to 750 hours.
The attached story examines some of the implications to the military readiness. The author also interviews several experts about the reasons why the current ranks of USAF, USN, USA and USCG crews might contemplate moving to the civil side.
This sort of initiative by the FAA is much needed. The author does not mention that the new lower threshold of 750 hours was first mentioned by Associate Administrator Peggy Gilligan in April 2012 at a Congressional hearing. This restricted category would allow these pilots to exercise the privileges of second-in-command. Similarly she mentioned that this restricted ATP certificate would be available to graduates of university or college programs with a commercial pilot certificate and instrument rating plus 1,000 hours. Adding second officers to the employment pool will be most beneficial.
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