Airlines continue to grapple with severe pilot shortages, but the Federal Aviation Administration says cutting pilot training time to become a co-pilot is not the solution.
On Monday, the FAA announced its rejection of a proposal to cut the requirement in half and put an end to the request by Republic Airways, CNBC reported.
Regional airlines like Republic have suffered the most from the pilot shortage. Major commercial carriers have dipped into the regional pools to fill their own vacancies. Many factors added to the current shortage, including pilots reaching the mandatory retirement age of 65, the pandemic, buyouts, and early retirement decisions.
Republic had proposed trimming the required 1,500 hours of flight time needed to become a co-pilot to 750 hours after finishing an airline’s respective pilot training program. As for now, pilots who served as military pilots can forgo the training time to become commercial pilots.
“The FAA considers it to be of greater public interest to ensure and maintain the level of safety provided by the foundation of an integrated aviation education required by current standards,” the FAA said in its decision.