In direct response to Colgan Air's 2009 accident near Buffalo, N.Y., Congress passed the Airline Safety and FAA Extension Act of 2010, requiring all crewmembers to have an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) license as of July 15, 2013. The rationale: The lack of flight time among pilots at smaller air carriers, also known as regional airlines, was leading to an unacceptable decrease in airline safety. While the FAA has proposed alternative minimums for ATPs, its stance is to keep the new mandate for such a license in place.
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