Do you know where the 1500-hour requirement to get an ATP came from?  When and why? Is it just an arbitrary number someone came up with years ago?  

Thank you.

Curt Boettcher




Dear Mr. Boettcher,

The crash of Colgan Air transport into a house near Buffalo Niagara International Airport in 2009, killing all 49 people aboard and one on the ground, led to an investigation that cited the cause as pilot and copilot error in their failure to properly respond to cockpit warnings that their aircraft was about to stall. This in turn led to a new rule mandated in 2013 by Congress, the Federal Aviation Administration and Air Line Pilots Association International, increasing the flying hours required to quality for an air transport pilot (ATP) certification from 250 to 1,500. Although there have been no fatal air accidents since that requirement was initiated, feeder airlines have been blaming it for a shortage of pilots. These and other factors will be part of the debate that the regulation has generated since it has come up for expiration in the fall of 2017.

More details on the controversy can be found in the article below.



Jon Guttman

Research Director

World History

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