(WEHT) – Southwest Airlines, a company that has recently been under fire for massive amounts of flight cancellations, announced a change affecting future employees.
The airline will be reducing the amount of required flying time from 1000 hours to 500 hours. Officials say the change will hopefully widen the number of applicants to choose from.
Reports from experts say most new hires typically exceed the minimum time requirements and what really matters is the training.
“A low-time pilot is not necessarily mean an unsafe pilot,” says Kit Darby, ex-United pilot and aviation consultant. “The military with the most sophisticated airplanes in the world with a serious mission, puts people into those most sophisticated airplanes at three or four hundred hours all the time, and they do fine. So good training can counter lower experience levels.
According to Southwest this change will not affect safety as its training program will not be changing. All first officer candidates will still be required to pass the curriculum before flying.
More information can be found here.