U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Final Rule to Enhance Air Carrier Pilot Development

Feb. 26, 2020

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a final rule aimed at enhancing the professional development of air carrier pilots. The Pilot Professional Development rule requires specific training for newly-hired pilots and supplemental training for captains.

“When I met with the Colgan Flight 3407 families, they emphasized how important this rule on pilot training was in elevating safety in the aviation sector. I am glad that the Department has been successful in finalizing this rule,” said U. S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

All captains are now required to receive leadership and command training, as well as mentoring training, so that they may effectively mentor first officers. Newly-hired pilots will be required to observe flight operations and become familiar with company-specific procedures before operating an aircraft as a flight crew member.

“As a pilot with thousands of hours flying in commercial aircraft, I know the importance that ongoing and targeted training can have in keeping pilots at their best,” said FAA Administrator Stephen M. Dickson. “These new training requirements for flight crews will go long way in providing the nation’s commercial pilot workforce with the latest and safest flight deck practices and procedures.”

This final rule is in response to the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010 and recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board. It also incorporates the work of the Flight Crewmember Mentoring, Leadership, and Professional Development Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), the Flightcrew Member Training Hours Requirement Review ARC, and the Air Carrier Safety and Pilot Training ARC. All three ARCs were comprised of labor, industry, and FAA experts who provided recommendations to the FAA.

U.S. Air Force photo by Giancarlo Casem