K-State Salina earns exception to new FAA 1,500-flight-hour rule for co-pilot training
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
SALINA -- Students enrolled in the flight program at Kansas State University Salina will be able to qualify for an exception to a new rule recently introduced by the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA. The rule requires 1,500 flight hours be completed by aviation graduates prior to qualifying for employment as an airline first officer.
Students qualify for reduced flight hours because K-State Salina meets the federal agency's criteria for an aviation education institution.
"K-State aviation is proud that our degree program already meets the requirements set forth in this new law," said Kurt Barnhart, professor and head of the department of aviation and executive director of the Applied Aviation Research Center. "We strive to make this program an industry-leading collegiate flight training program, and this is a good validation of that effort. Our students who wish to fly for airlines now have a substantial cost and time advantage over nonuniversity flight students or students from other university aviation training programs that do not meet the requirements set forth in this law."
The FAA rule was introduced to increase the qualification requirements for first officers -- commonly known as co-pilots -- earning an Airline Transport Pilot certificate. Under the new rule, first officers who fly U.S. passenger and cargo airlines are now required to have logged 1,500 hours of flight time and receive their Airline Transport Pilot -- or ATP -- certificate as a pilot before employment.
K-State Salina is an approved aviation education institution because it grants students a four-year degree. As such, students enrolled in the university's flight program must only complete 1,000 flight hours to qualify for a new restricted Airline Transport Pilot certificate, a license required by all U.S. airlines. Additionally, university graduates are able to earn the certification at 21 years old rather than at 23, the age typically required.
The Kansas State University aviation flight program is one of the first collegiate aviation degree programs to incorporate a leading technology called flight data analytics into its training processes. The analytics program collects electronic flight data from each flight and makes that data available to instructors, maintainers and flight school managers as a way to better monitor and continually improve the training experience.
More information about the FAA's updated requirements for an Airline Transport Pilot certificate is available at http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=14838.