Sunday, October 18, 2009
Last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a new air safety bill aimed at bolstering training standards for airline pilots. See Press Release, U.S. House Transp. & Infrastructure Committee, House Approves New Air Safety Bill (Oct. 15, 2009) (available here). From the press release:
“This legislation was developed as a result of the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407, where 50 people tragically perished outside of Buffalo, New York on February 12, 2009, and subsequent hearings by the Aviation Subcommittee. The accident serves as a reminder that we must maintain constant vigilance over airline safety,” said Rep. James L. Oberstar (Minn.), Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
“This bill ensures that pilots flying for regional and mainline air carriers are trained to the highest standards, and requires all airline pilots, including first officers, to hold an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, which requires pilots to have a minimum of 1,500 flight hours. Currently, a first officer on a commercial passenger flight only needs a Commercial Pilot certificate, which requires 250 flight hours, or as few as 190 in some cases. The ATP certificate also requires additional aeronautical knowledge, crew resource management training and greater flight proficiency testing,” Oberstar said.
A compact commentary on the bill is available here.