Regional airlines may find it difficult to meet staffing requirements after Congress passed legislation to require six times more flying experience for new pilots. The 1,500-hour threshold will interrupt "the normal flow of new pilots into the business by setting a new, dramatically higher experience level," says analyst Kit Darby, a former United Airlines pilot. Labor consultant Jerry Glass says the rule could hit commuter carriers on the bottom line. "If you can't find pilots that meet this new, higher threshold, then you can't grow your company," he notes.

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