FAA Clarifies R-ATP Rule for Recent College Grads

Not all recent graduates will qualify for new license.

College Grads

College Grads

The FAA has further clarified what the new Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP) certificate might mean for recent college graduates.

The new rules require airline first officers to hold an ATP and to have logged 1,500 hours of flight time, or an R-ATP license and 1,000 hours if they've graduated from an approved four-year aviation college. Many recent grads have been under the impression that they could be grandfathered under the R-ATP rule if they earned their degree within five years of their college receiving FAA curriculum approval. The FAA now says that while that route might be possible, it won't be a simple rubber-stamp affair.

Recent graduates will need to obtain "a certifying statement from the institution of higher education to show eligibility for an ATP certificate with less than 1,500 hours," an FAA spokesman said. The certifying statement cannot be given until the school has received the letter of authorization from the FAA approving the degree and the school has completed individual transcript reviews.

The spokesman went on to say that there are some past graduates who will not meet the requirements of the new R-ATP rule even with the five-year look-back period. But in some cases those schools are seeking an exemption for those students. "No decision to grant or deny has been made on any of them to date but they are under review," the FAA spokesman said.

Get exclusive online content like this delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our free enewsletter.

We welcome your comments on flyingmag.com. In order to maintain a respectful environment, we ask that all comments be on-topic, respectful and spam-free. All comments made here are public and may be republished by Flying.