Flight Experience: Regional airlines typically require pilot applicants to have their commercial, instrument and multi-engine ratings, and be at least within striking distance of obtaining their airline transport pilot certificate from a flight training program. The ATP certificate, mandated by the FAA in 2013 to fly for Part 121 air carriers, represents the biggest change in what regionals want most — or require — in candidates for pilot positions, says Haugaard. An ATP certificate requires 1,500 hours of flight time (or somewhat less for a restricted ATP license). Holders must also be at least 23 years of age. Regionals often hire high-quality, young applicants, and pay for the type rating training, which counts toward their 1,500 needed hours.