Regional carrier Republic Airways has questioned the DOT to grant it an exception to the 2013 rule that calls for pilots to log 1,500 hrs of flight time before traveling for a professional airline.
In an April 14 software to the DOT, Republic, which operates American Eagle-, Delta Relationship- and United Categorical- marketed flights in partnership with the Large 3 U.S. carriers, argued that pilot trainees who total a customized Air Transport Pilot (ATP) teaching system at the carrier’s Lift Academy pilot training university ought to come to be eligible to fly for the airline after finishing 750 hrs in the cockpit.
If authorised, the Elevate Academy ATP method would be the 1st nonmilitary or nonacademic flight coaching plan to receive reduction from the 1,500-hour rule. That rule requires 1,500 several hours as a default, but less than existing laws, graduates of 4-yr college pilot teaching academies can turn into a commercial airline co-pilot with 1,000 several hours of flight time, although graduates of two-calendar year school flight coaching plans can turn out to be a commercial pilot with 1,250 hrs of flight time. Republic’s exemption requests matches the thing to consider supplied to military pilot trainees, who turn out to be eligible to for the co-pilot seat on a business airline after 750 several hours.
In its DOT software, which was very first claimed on by Flight International, Republic argued that the arduous curriculum and construction of its proposed schooling application would exceed the basic safety requirements of the armed forces teaching application.
Why Republic desires the exemption
The Republic software coincides with an acute U.S. pilot scarcity, which has led to swift turnover at regional airways as pilots are hired absent by greater spending mainline carriers. The shortage has also caused American, Delta and United to pull back again on the regional aircraft routes that they run in conjunction with carriers such as Republic.
In its software, nevertheless, Republic didn’t make point out of the pilot shortage. Alternatively, it cited as public positive aspects the prospect to make a dent in the dearth of females and minority U.S. commercial airline pilots and minimizing the charge of obtaining an ATP certification. Just 9% of ATP certification holders are girls, the carrier explained, when certification can price tag upward of $200,000 in some scenarios.
“Sluggish marketplace development toward diversification of cockpit participation phone calls for a renewed, field-extensive determination to variety, equity and inclusion. This is plainly a broken pipeline,” the application reads.
A controversial proposal
Other regional airlines have ramped up attempts to relieve the 1,500-hour rule. Prior to its inception, pilots could fly co-pilot a regional flight with just 250 hrs of flight time.
But initiatives to weaken or reverse the 1,500-hour rule are guaranteed to be controversial. The rule was set in put as a response to the 2009 crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 around Buffalo, N.Y., which killed all 49 travellers and crew as well as a single man or woman on the floor.
Because then, the rule has appreciated powerful support from the Air Line Pilots Association union, family members users of the Colgan crash victims and legislators from the two events, who argue it has created flying on U.S. airlines safer.