AVIATION (PILOT QUALIFICATIONS) / Now a second-in-command pilot (first officer) in domestic, flag, and supplemental operations must hold an airline transport pilot certificate and an airplane type rating for the aircraft to be flown. An airline transport pilot certificate requires that a pilot be 23 years of age and have 1,500 hours total time as a pilot. This is the so-called new “co-pilot” rule.

“Pilot Certification and Qualification Requirements for Air Carrier Operations.”

Final Rule. July 15, 2013.

This was the “co-pilot” rule the Federal Aviation Administration announced last week, to news stories with titles like “New, Tougher Co-Pilot Rule Aims To Boost Plane Safety.”

“This action creates new certification and qualification requirements for pilots in air carrier operations. As a result of this action, a second in command (first officer) in domestic, flag, and supplemental operations must now hold an airline transport pilot certificate and an airplane type rating for the aircraft to be flown. An airline transport pilot certificate requires that a pilot be 23 years of age and have 1,500 hours total time as a pilot. Pilots with fewer than 1,500 flight hours may qualify for a restricted privileges airline transport pilot certificate beginning at 21 years of age if they are a military-trained pilot, have a bachelor’s degree with an aviation major, or have an associate’s degree with an aviation major. The restricted privileges airline transport pilot certificate will also be available to pilots with 1,500 flight hours who are at least 21 years of age. This restricted privileges airline transport pilot certificate allows a pilot to serve as second in command in domestic, flag, and supplemental operations not requiring more than two pilot flightcrew members. This rule also retains the second-class medical certification requirement for a second in command in part 121 operations. Pilots serving as an air carrier pilot in command (captain) must have, in addition to an airline transport pilot certificate, at least 1,000 flight hours in air carrier operations. This rule also adds to the eligibility requirements for an airline transport pilot certificate with an airplane category multiengine class rating or an airline transport pilot certificate obtained concurrently with a type rating. To receive an airline transport pilot certificate with a multiengine class rating a pilot must have 50 hours of multiengine flight experience and must have completed a new FAA-approved Airline Transport Pilot Certification Training Program. This new training program will include academic coursework and training in a flight simulation training device. These requirements will ensure that a pilot has the proper qualifications, training, and experience before entering an air carrier environment as a pilot flightcrew member.”