For Immediate Release
February 4, 2010
Contact: Alison Duquette or Les Dorr
Phone: (202) 267-3883
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Call to Action to enhance airline safety following last year’s Colgan Air accident in Buffalo, NY, the FAA today asked for recommendations to improve pilot qualification and training requirements.
“Our nation’s airlines should have the best-trained and best-prepared pilots in the cockpit,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We must build on the current pilot certification system and make it even stronger.”
“Experience is not measured by flight time alone,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “Pilots need to have quality training and experience appropriate to the mission to be ready to handle any situation they encounter.”
The public will have 60 days to comment on basic pilot certification in four key areas:
- Should all pilots who transport passengers be required to hold an Air Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate with the appropriate aircraft category, class and type ratings, which would raise the required flight hours for these pilots to 1,500 hours?
- Should the FAA permit academic credit in lieu of required flight hours or experience?
- Should the FAA establish a new commercial pilot certificate endorsement that would address concerns about the operational experience of newly hired commercial pilots, require additional flight hours and possibly credit academic training?
- Would an air carrier-specific authorization on an existing pilot certificate improve safety?
The FAA’s Call to Action aims to strengthen pilot hiring, training and performance, as well as combat fatigue and improve professional standards and discipline at all airlines. The FAA is pursuing both rule changes and voluntary safety enhancements. One proposed rule, which will enhance airline pilot training programs, recently received more than 3,000 pages of public comments. The FAA is now developing a supplemental proposal that will be issued this spring. FAA will also propose new rules this spring to address pilot fatigue.
The Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) will be published next week in the Federal Register and will have a 60-day comment period. It is on display today at http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/rulemaking/recently_published/. The FAA will then incorporate the comments into a new proposal that will also be published for public comment.
For more information on the FAA’s Call to Action, go to www.faa.gov/factsheets.