Airspeeds are, of course, important because a jet that can fly slower in the terminal area gives the single pilot more time to manage the cockpit. But even more critical is the level of automation in the systems and avionics. The autopilot will be used for virtually all phases of flight except takeoff and landing, so it must be uncomplicated to operate and perform crucial functions such as automatic altitude capture. The flight management system (FMS) that handles the navigation chores must have comprehensive capability, but not demand too much head-down time to operate. These are all subjective decisions by the FAA pilots, but in nearly 30 years of single-pilot jet operation the base of experience is broad.
The FAA's single-pilot certification practices make sense to me because the agency's test pilots determine that they can handle the workload, and then examiners certify that each pilot applying for a single-pilot type rating can also handle the load. A competent pilot employed by the FAA could handle the airplane safely by himself, so pilots who want the rating must demonstrate the same level of competency.
To my knowledge no transport category jet is certified for single-pilot operation, and I don't think there is any demand for such approval. Several models of the Citation 500 family that are certified in the transport category can be flown single pilot under an STC waiver, but that is different from actual certification of the airplane.
But light jets, even those that weigh more than 12,500 pounds maximum at takeoff such as the Cessna CJ3, are much closer in their typical mission to a light airplane than they are to an airliner, so the logic of allowing single-pilot operation in light jets makes sense. Read on to learn the ramifications of single-pilot flying on insurance, safety and training.