FAA to increase flight time needed for co-pilots

Asiana 777 crash San Francisco

(Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday said it plans to increase the number of flight hours required for co-pilots on U.S. passenger and cargo airlines to boost safety.

Under the change, first officers or co-pilots will be required to have 1,500 hours of flight time to hold an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, up from 250 hours that were required under previous standards, the agency said in a statement.

The agency said the new regulations stemmed in part from the February 2009 crash of Colgan Air Flight 347 in upstate New York that killed 49 people on board and one person on the ground.