CAPA Statement on FAA's impending release of new First Officer Qualification Regulations

Washington, DC (July 11, 2013) - The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA) representing over 25,000 professional pilots applauds the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) announcement regarding "new pilot qualification standards". CAPA has long advocated that the Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) license must serve as the minimum qualification standard for all Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121 pilots. The new requirements will greatly increase Part 121 airline pilot qualifications and is a significant improvement in providing "One Level of Safety" for the traveling public.

During the summer of 2010, CAPA participated in an FAA Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) to help create new standards for First Officers flying for Part 121 carriers. CAPA strongly believes that in order to safely operate aircraft today's complex, high-speed aircraft through a congested, multi-faceted air traffic control network in difficult weather environments, both pilots must be highly qualified. CAPA recommended that the new requirements include the Air Transport Pilot (ATP) rating, in addition to aircraft-specific type ratings. These requirements combined with a curriculum of aeronautical knowledge and flight training, and a specific amount of flight experience, will provide for better qualified professional aviators.

As professional airline pilots and experts in the field, we believe that the requirement to possess an ATP is a definable common sense standard and a prerequisite experience requirement for all pilots who shoulder the responsibility of safely transporting the traveling public in our air transportation system.

The FAA has greatly enhanced the safety of the traveling public with these new regulations. CAPA applauds their efforts by recognizing the value of experienced and well-trained crews in U.S. commercial airline cockpits.

Also, we would like to recognize the tireless efforts by all CAPA representatives whose considerable contributions over the years have served to make these new regulations a reality.