Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is to require Boeing-owned training company Alteon to include 10h of solo flying in its new Multi-crew Pilot Licence syllabus, says Marsha Bell, Alteon vice-president of first officer programmes.

CASA is working with Alteon to develop the new MPL syllabus because the training - initially a course of cadet pilots for Chinese carriers China Eastern and Xiamen Airlines - is to take place at Alteon's Brisbane, Australia training base.

The MPL syllabus definition set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation does not demand that solo aircraft management ability be tested, because the new licence specifically aims to recognise first officers trained from the outset to acquire the crew skills demanded by airlines.

However, CASA has told Alteon it wants 10h of solo experience to be incorporated into the course. The agency has not yet decided what exercises should be incorporated within the 10h, nor even how much of it might be "flown" in simulators and how much in the air. This is still under examination.

The International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations welcomes the MPL concept, but has reservations about whether first officers would be adequately prepared were the commander to be incapacitated.

Source: Flight International