New First Officer & ATP Rules Explained

The Congress and FAA recently made some big changes to the minimum requirements for First Officers in part 121 airlines and for the way pilots get their Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) licenses. These changes will affect you if you’re dreaming of an airline pilot career. In this post I’ll explain the new rules and how they may affect you.

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Deciphering RNAV approach minimas

GPS and RNAV approach terminology can be very confusing since modern RNAV procedures usually accommodate more than one type of navigational equipment (such as basic GPS, WAAS, LAAS or multi-sensor FMS) on the same chart. With older types of approach procedures, the specific equipment required is stated in the chart title. For example, you could only fly a “VOR RWY XX” approach with VOR equipment, or an ILS approach with ILS equipment.

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Pilots will visit the M.D less often

Effective July 24, 2008, the FAA extended the validity period of pilot medical certificates. This change will allow some pilots to visit the aviation medical doctor less often.

The extension applies only to first and third class medical certificates issued to pilots under the age of 40. Under the old rule, a third class medical certificate, required for the operation as a private pilot, issued to a pilot under the age of 40 was valid for 36 calendar months (3 years). The new rule extends that period to 60 calendar months (5 years)

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FAA extends English proficiency deadline

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) extended the deadline to comply with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Language proficiency requirement to March 5 2009.

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FAA improves NOTAM system

As of the 28th of January 2008, Local NOTAMs in the United States will be reclassified as Distant NOTAMs. This comes as part of the first stage of an FAA plan to modernize the Notices to Airmen system.

The goals of the program are to:

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USA and Canadian pilot license conversion becomes easier

The FAA and Transport Canada (TC) have signed a two-way agreement which will make pilot license conversions between the two countries easier.Continue Reading