The International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Amendment 167 to Annex 1 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation and supporting Procedures for Air Navigation Services – Training (PANS-TRG) has introduced a new flight crew licence called the Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL), which came into effect on 23 November 2006.
The Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL), if applied correctly, could produce a highly qualified new hire first officer for the airlines. However, applied incorrectly in response to cost or time pressures to respond to the current pilot shortage, it could have a detrimental impact on flight safety. Improper application could also erode current, proven training standards.
A number of MPL training courses have already begun and there are already MPL graduates flying in commercial operations. IFALPA has yet to be convinced that the new MPL scheme will provide sufficient guarantees for safeguarding the highest safety and training quality standards currently in place and urges all Member Associations to be proactive with regard to MPL and robustly monitor MPL implementation in their own states.