Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL)
New pilot licensing regulations commence on 1 September 2014. CASA is currently reviewing and, where necessary, updating all website content to ensure it correctly reflects these regulations. Please note the information on this page might be outdated. If you have any questions about the new licensing regulations please contact your local Aviation Safety Advisor or CASA’s Licensing and Registration Centre for up to date advice.
MPL represents a state-of-the-art ab initio airline pilot training programme
Article from the ICAO Journal, Volume 62, Number 3, 2007
This issue of the International Civil Aviation Organization magazine, the ICAO Journal, contains an article on the Multi-crew pilot licence.
"The newly established multi-crew pilot licence is focussed from Day One on preparing the co-pilot candidate for the right seat of an advanced airliner, using a competency-based approach to training developed with an emphasis on improving flight deck safety." Capt Chris Schroeder and Cap Dieter Harms, IATA.
Read the full article. (Reproduced from the ICAO Journal, with permission)
A new pilot qualification was established by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) specifically for airline co-pilots in 2006.
The new licence was incorporated into ICAO Annex 1 (Personnel Licensing) in November 2006. It is based on the recommendations of ICAO's flight crew licensing training panel (FCLTP/2) which held a series of meetings on MPL during 2004 and 2005. The meetings were prompted by calls from industry for better ways to train co-pilots amid mounting evidence that deficits in teamwork were major contributors to airline accidents.
The MPL is designed to develop the abilities needed to fly multi-crew airline aeroplanes. Compared to traditional training pathways it makes greater use of simulators, adopts competency-based-training methods and further applies human factors and threat and error management in all phases of training.
Traditional training methods emphasise independence and individual skills. While appropriate for single-pilot operations, they can impede the transfer to multi-crew operations. Pilots moving to work in airlines have needed bridging training.
ICAO has also issued a set of procedures for training, and has set them out in its PANS-TRG (procedures for air navigation services - training) document, which shifts the focus from prescriptive flying hour requirements to competency-based training and assessment.
The procedures put more emphasis on simulator training including the use of simulated air traffic control. Pilots will still be able to take the traditional pathway to qualifying to fly as co-pilot, progressing from the private pilot licence through the commercial licence to the air transport pilot licence.
The MPL was incorporated into the European pilot licensing regulations on 1 December 2006.
The first MPL pilots were employed by Sterling Airlines in Denmark following their graduation in September 2007. Other countries with MPL initiatives include Germany, China, Canada, the Philippines and Singapore.
CASA established an industry project team in 2007 to advise on the implementation of the MPL. The team met numerous times with its first meeting on 19 February 2007.
The project team comprised a range of technical experts in the areas of ab-initio pilot training, airline multi-crew operations, simulator and competency-based training.
A proof of concept trial was conducted in Brisbane with 6 airline cadets studying for the MPL. The course started in March 2007. The cadets completed their MPL flight tests in December 2008 and their 12 take-offs and landings in early 2009. All cadets are now flying as B737 first offices in their respective airlines.
Amendments to the Civil Aviation Regulations 1988 (CAR) and the Civil Aviation Orders (CAO) were completed in December 2008. The most significant changes include:
- New Division 19 in Part 5 of CAR - Multi-crew pilot (aeroplane) licence.
- New CAO 40.1.8 - requirements for MP(A)L training courses.
CASA is committed to the concepts underpinning the MPL and the need to find ways to evolve pilot training through the use of modern simulation technologies, better training practices and the further adoption of human factors and threat and error management.
For more information contact: