FAA denies request to cut flight-training hours, citing safety concerns

The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday denied a request by Republic Airways to reduce the number of hours that are necessary to train a co-pilot.

The agency said it disagreed with the regional airline’s argument for allowing only 750 hours of flight experience instead of 1,500.

The Indiana-based carrier had sought an exemption that would allow graduates from its pilot training program to apply for a restricted airline transport pilot certificate with the same reduced aeronautical experience as military or former military pilots.

According to the FAA, the program does not provide an equivalent level of safety as the regulation requires 1,500 hours of flight experience before a pilot may work for an airline.

DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS ASK FOR IG INVESTIGATION INTO HOW AIRLINES USED COVID RELIEF FUNDING

A United Express Bombardier CRJ-200ER airplane taxis at LAX airport in Los Angeles, California, US, April 7, 2019. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson/Reuters Photos)

“We’re disappointed – but not surprised – that our petition to the FAA was not met with the review and engagement it deserves. Despite the rhetoric to the contrary, our proposal would enhance safety by providing students a highly structured, mission-specific training approach,” Republic CEO Bryan Bedford said in a statement emailed to FOX Business.

“The data proves that our approach works and it would open the door to a rich career in aviation to any students who cannot otherwise afford to participate in this transformational career while helping to address the diminishing air service impacting 90 million Americans in small and mid- sized communities,” he continued. “It is disappointing that, when the nation is struggling to deliver reliable air service, the FAA has declined an opportunity to engage in a meaningful discussion on this topic or to approach it in a spirit of working together.”

Delta Connection plans

A Delta Connection Embraer ERJ-175LR plane lands as a United Express Embraer ERJ-175LR plane waits to take off at LAX airport in Los Angeles, California US January 10, 2018. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Reuters Photos)

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

The FAA said unions had opposed the request, with some arguing that the proposal would “jeopardize safety and result in inexperienced pilots.”

American Airlines

A jet from American Eagle, a regional branch of American Airlines (AA), taxis past other AA aircraft at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, Dec. 3, 2021. (REUTERS/Chris Helgren/Reuters Photos)

Air Line Pilots Association President Joe DePete called the decision “a huge win for aviation safety and for the flying public.”

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

Republic flies nearly 1,000 daily flights to 40 states.

It operates under major airline partner brands of United Express, Delta Connection and American Eagle.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: