FAA rejects co-pilot license proposal with less training

A proposal that would have reduced the number of hours needed to become a co-pilot was rejected by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA rejected a request from a regional airline to hire co-pilots with half the usual minimum flight experience, saying it would reduce safety, the Associated Press reported.

Republic Airways, which serves Delta, American and United, proposed in April that pilots would be allowed to join an airline after 750 flight hours once they completed the carrier’s training program.

Normally, 1,500 flight hours are required before a new pilot can fly commercially, although there is an exception for certain military experiences.

“After careful consideration of Republic’s request for exemption and public comment, the FAA has determined that the relief sought is not in the public interest and would be detrimental to safety,” the FAA said in its decision. . “The FAA supports the regulatory requirements that are in place to facilitate pilot qualification, and the FAA argues that the waiver process is not the right path to change the current way of preparing pilots.”

The proposal was an attempt to tackle a severe pilot shortage that prompted carriers to cut routes and cancel thousands of flights earlier this year and over the summer.

Republic CEO Bryan Bedford told FOX Business he was disappointed but not surprised by the FAA’s decision.

“Despite rhetoric to the contrary, our proposal would improve safety by providing students with a highly structured, mission-specific training approach,” Bedford said in a statement. “The data proves that our approach is working and would open the door to a rich career in aviation for all students who cannot otherwise afford to participate in this transformational career while helping to cope with diminishing service. airline that affects 90 million Americans in small and medium-sized communities”

“It is disappointing that as the country struggles to provide reliable air service, the FAA has declined the opportunity to engage in a meaningful discussion on this topic or approach it in a spirit of collaboration,” added Bedford.

Milton S. Rodgers