College of Aeronautics Receives Highest Level of Authorization for New FAA Restricted Certification Rule

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Recent rulings by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have placed Florida Institute of Technology College of Aeronautics students in a very favorable position with the airlines. This new rule allows for regionally accredited aviation degree-granting universities to apply for a flight hour reduction for its graduates based on their professional aviation flight curriculum.

The FAA’s Pilot Certification and Qualification Requirements for Air Carrier Operations require first officers, or co-pilots, to hold an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate totaling 1,500 hours of flight time in order to fly for an air carrier. Previously, first officers were required to have a commercial pilot certificate totaling 250 hours of flight time.

Florida Tech recently received its letter of authorization from the FAA stating all future graduates and graduates from the past five years in all three flight degree programs are eligible for the restricted ATP. This special authorization by the FAA grants Florida Tech the opportunity for its aviation management with flight and aeronautical science with flight graduates to apply for an ATP certificate upon reaching 1,000 flight hours and be eligible to work for commercial airlines sooner. These two programs represent 92 percent of all College of Aeronautics flight students. A third degree program in aviation meteorology with flight has been authorized to certify its graduates at 1,250 flight hours.

Assistant Professor Tim Rosser led the effort for the College of Aeronautics. “We are excited for our current and future graduates to have the opportunity and advantage of flying for the airlines 500 hours earlier than those eligible for the traditional ATP,” he said. “This demonstrates the strength of our professional aviation degree programs and the value the FAA places on our flight program.”

To learn more about the College of Aeronautics, visit

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