Thursday, December 3, 2015

To address a shortage.
This story originally appeared on Fortune.
A trade group for regional airlines is reportedly planning to push
regulators to ease experience requirements when it comes to hiring rookie
co-pilots.
Once they're hired, the proposal being drafted by the Regional Airline
Association would also include more time spent in airline jump seats, more
frequent proficiency checks, and continuing evaluations by regular captains,
reported the Wall Street Journal.
The plan is aimed to address a reported shortage of up-and-coming co-pilots
for smaller carriers.
"I don't think I have a single carrier that has not been
impacted" by dwindling pilot availability, association head Faye Malarkey
Black told the Journal.
Regional airlines have been pushing Congress to reduce a requirement that
all commercial pilots must have 1,500 hours of flight time before flying.
Set
in mid-2013, the flight time minimum was raised from the previous requirement
of 250 hours, and was made in response to the Colgan Flight 3407 crash in
February 2009 that was later determined to be the cause of the pilots' lack of
response to prior warnings.
But this has made it harder for regional airlines to find prospective
pilots, reported The Journal, who are being discouraged by the longer time, as
well as costs exceeding $120,000, needed to meet the stipulated flight
time.
Along with a stream of retirements from aging captains, the factors have
contributed to a steady decline of pilots over the last seven years, as shown
in this chart below: brightcove.createExperiences();

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