CONTACT: Capt. Dennis Tajer, 847-902-8481 / Gregg Overman, 817-302-2250

Allied Pilots Association: Existing Experience Requirements for First Officers “Must Be Maintained”

FORT WORTH, Texas (June 6, 2023) – The Allied Pilots Association (APA), representing the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, emphasized the necessity of maintaining the current minimum flight experience requirements for pilots before being eligible for hiring by a Part 121 passenger airline in the United States.

“As Congress once again considers the question of First Officer qualifications, the answer should be obvious by now: The existing requirements have greatly improved the safety record of U.S. airlines, and they must be maintained,” said APA President Capt. Ed Sicher. “All commercial aviation stakeholders must be full participants in any discussion about changing the minimum requirements. Rest assured that APA will not tolerate any clandestine effort to dilute this time-tested requirement.

“And likewise rest assured that when APA is at the table, we will make our position clear: There is no substitute for actual experience, and the standards must be preserved for the safety of our crews and the traveling public,” Capt. Sicher said. “We are steadfast and uncompromising with our duty to ensure a safe operation.”

Founded in 1963, the Allied Pilots Association – the largest independent pilots union in the United States – is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. APA represents the 15,000 pilots of American Airlines, including several hundred pilots on full-time military leave of absence serving in the armed forces. The union’s website is