New FAA rules causing pilot shortage

A change in FAA rules requiring pilots to have 1,500 hours of flight training before flying a commercial airplane is causing flight delays and cancellations nationwide, including at Scottsbluff's Western Nebraska Regional Airport.

The new threshold is a huge jump from the 250 flight hours previously required, and was ordered just days after the crash of an Asiana Airlines flight in San Francisco that killed two people and injured more than 180.

Western Nebraska Regional Airport Manager Darwin Skelton says a number of smaller, regional airlines like Great Lakes are being especially effected by the larger airlines shopping for pilots with hours from smaller airlines like Great Lakes.

Skelton suggests booking flights as early as possible, so the airlines can get you scheduled on other flights or times as quickly as they can. Congress mandated both the qualification standards and the pilot rest time in the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010.

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