Airline industry and pilots groups have complained that delays by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on a possible rule change over pilot qualifications is complicating decisions about hiring and training.
A letter sent to the FAA today by the Regional Airline Association, Airlines for America and the Air Line Pilots Association asks for a final rule to be published before a new law takes effect on 2 August 2013.
That law will require airline pilots involved in scheduled operations to have an air transport pilot license, which requires a minimum of 1,500h of experience in an aircraft.
The law was passed in the aftermath of the Colgan Air crash in February 2009, as investigators focused on the actions of the flight crew.
By raising the standard for pilot qualifications, regional airlines have expressed concerns about a looming pilot shortage.
Earlier this year, the FAA proposed a new rule that would establish credits towards an air transport pilot license based on several factors including military experience and the applicant's educational background.
The comment period on the proposed rulemaking closed on 30 April, but the FAA has taken no further action.
In the letter to FAA acting administrator Michael Huerta, the pilot and industry lobbying groups says the final rule should be published "as soon as possible". As it stands, they can't be certain about which pilots will qualify under the new law that becomes effective in less than nine months.
"Without such certitude, hiring, training and scheduling practices are being negatively impacted today at numerous carriers," the letter says, "and the effects are felt by the companies and their flight crew employees."