FAA tightens cargo pilot requirements

THE US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing to raise the level of qualifications necessary for first officers who fly for national cargo and passenger airlines.

The FAA wants first officers, also known as co-pilots, to hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate requiring 1,500 hours of pilot flight time. Currently, first officers are required to have only a commercial pilot certificate with 250 hours.

The proposed rule also would require first officers to have an aircraft-type rating, which involves additional training and testing specific to the equipment they fly.

Other elements of the FAA move include a requirement that pilots have a minimum of 1,000 flight hours as a pilot in air carrier operations that require an ATP prior to serving as a captain for a US airline.

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