Cherry Capital Airport Director Kevin Kline backs proposed FAA guidelines that will require additional training for commercial pilots.
Local aviation leaders at Northwestern Michigan College are also on board with the idea of having pilots spend more time in the sky before manning a commercial plane.
Essentially what is going to happen is, instead of requesting just a Commercial Multiengine Rating, which is essentially you have about 300 hours (of training) at that time, it will require everyone to have an Air Transport Pilots License, and essentially that means you are 23 and have 1,500 hours of training, said Aaron Cook,NMC Director of Aviation.
Under the new guidelines, commercial airplanes will have two pilots in the cockpit with an Air Transport License.
Currently, only the captain is required of have one.
For the traveler, for the consumer, this is good. I think the majority of aviation supports this. It increases the standard, it raises expectation, and I think it is good that they have higher qualified people in the cockpit, Cook said.
Additional pilot training may benefits more than the traveler.
Aviation schools, like the one at Northwestern Michigan College, are seeing an increase in enrollment.
Aware of the looming guidelines, NMC TMs Fall enrollment was up 80% over last year.
Pilots now are in demand, so that is actually a good thing. We are going to see the pilot opportunities, for a carrier in piloting grow, said Klein.
The new FAA guidelines are expected to be signed in August.
They would start in September.