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FAA proposed increasing flying experience

Flight 3407
WBFO News file photo
Flight 3407

The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed increasing flying experience  minimums from the current 250 hours to 1,500 hours before it would grant pilot certification. 

The new rules were proposed Monday in Washington in response to the crash of Flight 3407 in Clarence three years ago.  

For those discharged as military pilots or graduates of four year flight schools, restricted privileges would be granted allowing qualified candidates to serve as co-pilots.  

Currently, first officers are required to have only a commercial pilot certificate, which requires 250 hours of flight time.  The NPRM proposes that a pilot have a minimum of 1,000 flight hours as a pilot in air carrier operations that require an ATP prior to serving as a captain for a U.S. airline.

The legislation behind the new rules comes after intense lobbying by Flight 3407 families.

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer issued the following statement after the FAA proposed a new rule to boost pilot training:

“This is another important step forward towards making sure that the landmark aviation safety bill actually makes the skies safer for passengers. We know pilot error contributed to the crash which is why it’s so critical that FAA update outdated pilot qualification standards to ensure that pilots have sufficient training before ever taking off. As this proposed rule moves forward, I’m going to fight back every effort to water it down. The FAA and OMB need to stand firm and make sure that this rule is finalized in a way that truly makes a difference in passenger safety," said Senator Schumer.