Public Law 111-216: Effects of New Legislation on Collegiate Aviation Flight Training Programs

This article explores the impact of new aviation safety legislation, Public Law 111-216 (PL 111-216), that requires newly hired airline pilots to have acquired an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate. The author notes that this legislation was passed in direct response to the Colgan Air Flight 3407 crash in Buffalo, New York in February 2009, which resulted in the deaths of 49 passengers, 1 crew member, and 1 individual on the ground. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the probable cause for the crash was pilot error, along with the flight crew’s failure to monitor airspeed and follow cockpit procedures, and the airlines inadequate procedures for approaches in icing conditions. The author conducted a survey of collegiate flight training institutions (n = 85; 59 completed the survey), focusing on Section 217 of the legislation – Flight Crewmember Screening and Qualifications. Before this legislation was enacted, airlines could hire pilots who had not yet earned their ATP, allowing them to earn the certificate as they gained experience and flight time. The legislation will require new airline pilots to complete an additional 700 hours in flight time. The questionnaire was designed to identify the perceptions of the institutions regarding direct and indirect effects of PL 111-216 to their flight training program. The final part of the research instrument asks participants open-ended questions offering them an open text box to author their unique response. Results showed that the training institutions were worried that, as a result of PL 111-216, programmatic and training costs will increase, and recruitment and retention of student pilots will be adversely affected. Respondents also expressed concern for the vitality of smaller collegiate flight programs (small four-year and two-year institutions) after implementation of PL 111-216.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 1-16
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01531955
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 25 2014 8:18PM