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In the Name of Safety, Commercial Pilots Get More FAA Required Training

By Mallory Peebles, Crime and Law Enforcement, Natural Resources and Parks Reporter, Fill-in Anchor, mpeebles@ktuu.com
Published On: Nov 08 2013 07:29:49 PM AKST

Reporter Mallory Peebles and Photojournalist Eric Sowl

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -

All in the name of safety – commercial pilots will have to do more required training before taking off from the runway.

Earlier this week, the Federal Aviation Administration announced its last rule in a set of three with the goal of airline safety.  The FAA is requiring more extensive training for stalls and upsets, which includes more advanced simulator training.

Matt Macri, Penair's Director of Operations, says the company does simulator training outside of Alaska at a location it pays to use in Minnesota. According to Macri, using more advanced simulators will likely cost the company more. 

"Safety is something that pays for itself in time," said Macri. "The cost is something we're certainly willing to bare."

The other safety rules handed down by the FAA include a different license for pilots. That rule went into effect this past August.

“All new pilots will have to have 1,500 hour minimum time and posses a license known as the Airline Transport Pilot Certificate,” said Macri. “This is an upgrade from our previous requirements which were you know kind of loose, just 300 hours for a commercial license."  

Coming up January 4, 2014, The FAA’s flight and duty regulations will change to make sure pilots are well rested. 

"I believe that's the greatest step in safety from these new regulations," says Macri. "The FAA for the first time is not just looking at the number of hours flown by a pilot, but how they're flown. They're looking at factors such as when you start your day, whether or not you've been acclimated to that environment, such as a long travel to a different time zone."

In February 2009, the deadly crash of Colgan Air 3407 in New York prompted the FAA to expand safety training for commercial pilots. The plane crashed into a house after stalling, killing all 49 people on board and one person in the house.