Air Transport World

MPL takes off.(TRAINING)(multi crew pilot license instruction courses for commercial transportation pilots)

EARLY RETURNS FROM TILE first Multi-Crew Pilot License instruction courses demonstrate that the ICAO-approved alternate training path for commercial transport pilots is living up to its promise, say those familiar with the programs. At the same time, advocates are working hard to dispel the notion that MPL is simply a shortcut to the cockpit intended to alleviate the current pilot drought.


Alteon VP-Marketing Marsha Bell notes that MPL was developed over six years in response to airline requests for a curriculum that took advantage of modern simulation technology at a time when pilots were plentiful. "MPL is a response to the fact that ICAO's 40-year-old Standards and Recommended Practices didn't reflect training capabilities of advanced training devices, especially high-fidelity simulation," she tells ATW.

Bell points out that MPL pilots have to demonstrate the same skills, knowledge and competency as a traditional ATPlicensed pilot. "The only difference is that the MPL pilot can't act as a pilot-in-command of a single-pilot airplane. In other words, he can't fly a Cessna by himself," she explained during an ATWOnline webcast sponsored by Montreal-based simulator maker Mechtronix Systems. She also noted that the MPL training path "is similar to what the military has done for decades. It trains pilots from the beginning with the end in mind, resulting in a more focused and relevant approach to training." Although MPL arrives during a time of high demand for pilots, "it's not a response to the pilot shortage." In fact the first MPL panel met in 2002 at a time when some 7,000 US pilots were on furlough. …

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