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Project FS 06/02 - Multi-Crew Pilot Licensing (MPL)

Topic code: 
Flight Crew licensing
Project status: 
Closed

With effect November 2006, ICAO amended the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) in Annex 1 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation. The amendment to Annex 1 ('Personnel Licensing') introduced a new flight crew licence known as the Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL).

Introduction of this new licence marks a significant change in pilot training and licensing as it provides for all-through multi-crew training, and limits the holder to performance as a co-pilot in a turbine powered air transport aircraft with a minimum crew of two pilots.

This raises several issues for Australia:

  • There are a number of Australian-based flying training organisations planning to take advantage of the new training regime, with courses set for commencement in late 2006.
  • Currently the CARs do not allow for either the training envisaged by ICAO, or for the issue of a multi-crew or co-pilot only type of licence.
  • CASA has undertaken to provide regulatory cover for MPL training and licence issue.
  • CASR Part 61, which would be the ideal vehicle for the introduction of the MPL, will not be in place before late 2007.

Because Part 61 will not be made before the planned November 2006 commencement of MPL training in Australia, and is unlikely to be in place before completion of the planned training (late October 2007, based on a 48 week course), the lack of regulatory cover for either training or licence issue would preclude flight training organisations in Australia from taking advantage of the change to the SARPs, placing them at a disadvantage in the international flight training environment. Accordingly, CASA has made an undertaking to Australia's aviation community to provide regulatory cover which will enable the issue of an MPL at the completion of the planned training courses.

This project sets out to provide regulatory cover for the issue of an MPL by proposing amendments to Part 5 of the 1988 CARs Qualifications of flight crew. The amendments would follow the existing divisional layout and address the following:

  • Interpretation.
  • What are the qualifications for a multi-crew pilot (aeroplane) licence?
  • What does a multi-crew pilot (aeroplane) licence authorise a person to do?
  • What kinds of aeroplane may a multi-crew (aeroplane) pilot fly?
  • Multi-crew (aeroplane) pilot: rating required.
  • Multi-crew (aeroplane) pilot: regular flight reviews required.
  • Multi-crew (aeroplane) pilot: recent experience requirements.
  • Multi-crew (aeroplane) pilot: requirements if over 60 years old.
  • Time spent in synthetic flight trainer.
  • Aeronautical experience: minimum requirements.
  • Aeronautical experience: calculation of flight time.
  • Cross-country flight time.
  • How and when may a multi-crew pilot (aeroplane) licence flight test be attempted?

In addition to the amendments to CAR Part 5, development and production of competency standards (incorporating assessment/achievement records and flight test forms) and a supporting Advisory Circular will also be required.

Furthermore, changes/amendments will be necessary to those divisions in Part 5 dealing with private (PPL), commercial (CPL) and air transport (ATPL) pilot licence to address how the holder of an MPL would transition to these licences, and to align the CARs with the amendment to ICAO Annex 1.

Rules affected

  • Existing Part 5 of the CARs – Civil Aviation Regulations for the qualifications of flight crew
  • Proposed CASR Part 61 – Flight crew licensing

Project management

Project Leader: Roger Crosthwaite
Programme Manager: Mike Higgins
Project Sponsor: Greg Hood

Consultation documents history

Title Details Date
Consultation updates in 2009
Project FS 06/02 - Multi-Crew Pilot Licensing (MPL) This project is now closed. 6 Feb 2009
Consultation updates in 2008
Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL) Project team meeting held in Sydney.   14 Jul 2008
Consultation updates in 2007
Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL) Project team meeting held in Sydney   21 Nov 2007
Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL) Project team meeting held in Sydney   27 Sep 2007
Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL) Project team meeting held in Sydney   29 Aug 2007
Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL) Project team provided with Draft CAR 5 amendment   15 Aug 2007
Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL) Project team provided with Draft NPRM   10 Aug 2007
Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL) Project team meeting held in Sydney   2 May 2007
Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL) Project team meeting held in Sydney   19 Feb 2007
Consultation updates in 2006
New multi-crew pilot licence MPL CASA/stakeholder meeting in Canberra - 16-17 November 2006. 16 Nov 2006
Project FS 06/02 titled Multi-crew Pilot Licence (MPL) New multi-crew pilot licence project has been registered. 29 May 2006