FAA Proposes Changes To Pro Pilot Training

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The FAA has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would "enhance tradition training programs" for Part 121 crew and pilots by requiring simulator training and additional requirements "in areas that are critical to safety." The proposed rules would provide more frequent recurrent training to co-pilots than captains, as the FAA aims to prepare a workforce that, it is expected, may be less experienced on average due to demand in the coming years. Toward that end, recurrent training for co-pilots would take place every nine months, instead of the annual intervals set by the current timetable. Other major changes would cause training and evaluation of flight crew members to take place in a full crew environment, require special hazards training, recurrent Line Oriented Flight Training (LOFT), and "reduce the frequency of performance drills using emergency equipment and procedures." The proposals are aimed at "raising the bar to a higher standard" and providing skill sets that allow crews to "respond better if a mistake is made," an FAA spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal.

The proposed rules include flight attendants and flight dispatchers and are based on analysis of 160 accidents over about two decades that the agency believes were caused by inadequate training and that resulted in roughly 1,000 fatalities. Read the full proposal, here.