The House late Thursday passed a bill requiring 1,500 hours of flight time for commercial airline pilots, a six-fold increase over the current 250-hour standard. The provision was attached to a short-term extension for the FAA after a more comprehensive reauthorization bill was blocked by political wrangling. The FAA and industry groups believe the type of training provided is more important than the number of hours. The Air Transport Association said the House vote was part of a process. "Airlines remain fully committed to improving the safest air transportation system in the world," said James May, ATA president and CEO. "We look forward to working with Congress to finish the work already started."
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