New ATP rule clarification offered before Aug. 1 changes

July 22, 2014

New airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate requirements go into effect on Aug. 1, and AOPA wants to make sure pilots are aware of the rule change, its implications, and how it will affect those who aspire to become airline pilots.

After July 31, all airplane multiengine ATP applicants will have to complete an FAA-approved ATP certification training program (ATP CTP). If pilots take the ATP airplane knowledge test before Aug. 1, they will have two years to pass their ATP practical test. Pilots must be 21 years or older to take written now.

After Aug. 1, the age requirement goes down to 18, but the ATP certification training program requirement kicks in. Pilots who currently have an airplane single-engine airline transport pilot certificate have two years after they took their knowledge test to upgrade to multiengine airplane, not two years after they passed their practical test or two years after Aug. 1.

If pilots think they will not meet the requirements to add on multiengine within the two-year window after they took their initial ATP airplane knowledge test, AOPA would recommend they retake the knowledge test now, before Aug. 1, and the two year clock would be reset for them to pass their checkride. Once the two-year period after they took the knowledge test is over, if they want to add multiengine airplane to their ATP certificate, they will have to take the ATP certification training program and take a new knowledge test for ATP multiengine airplane.

AOPA has also received multiple questions from members with helicopter ATP certificates and how to add airplane multiengine without having to take the ATP certification training program. In order to avoid the new training program, those members must take and pass the airplane ATP knowledge test prior to Aug. 1, which will afford them two years to take and pass the ATP airplane multiengine practical exam. The helicopter ATP knowlege test and/or certificate will not get them out of the new ATP certification training program requirement now or after Aug. 1—only the airplane ATP written taken and passed prior.      

After Aug. 1, there will be two new ATP tests: one for airplane multi-engine with the ATP certification training program required prior, and one for airplane single-engine with no ATP certification training program requirement.

The FAA has published guidance to help answer questions about the new requirements, along with a flow chart to help navigate the rule and how it will affect various scenarios. And the AOPA Pilot Information Center's Ferdi Mack interviews David Oord, AOPA's manager of regulatory affairs about the new airline transport pilot certificate rules in a new podcast. It lasts about 22 minutes and addresses a lot of typical questions on the topic. 

Benét Wilson

Benét J. Wilson | AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor

AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.