ICAO | FLS | FAQs
from ICAO website
Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL)
What is the MPL?
The MPL allows a pilot to exercise the privileges of a co-pilot in a commercial air transportation on multi-crew aeroplanes. It provides the aviation community with an opportunity to train pilots directly for co-pilot duties. It is a new licence that has been introduced in addition to the existing pilot licences defined in Annex 1 — Personnel Licensing.
The licence focuses on ab initio airline pilot training. MPL training and assessment will be competency-based and involve a multi-crew environment and threat and error management from the onset. It provides for greater use of flight simulation training devices and include mandatory upset training. At this stage, only aeroplanes are considered for this new licence. The details of the requirements for the licence are contained in Annex 1 — Personnel Licensing and in the Procedures for Air Navigation Services — Training (PANS-TRG). These documents outline the minimum international Standard for the implementation of the MPL by any State; they can be purchased directly from ICAO through the Document Sales Unit.
Will the MPL be recognized by Contracting States?
As a licence defined by ICAO the MPL will be recognized by all ICAO Contracting States even by those that may decide not to establish an MPL as a licence within their own States. More details on the recognition of licences by other States can be found on the FAQ on "International recognition of flight crew licences".
What is a multi-crew aeroplane?
It is an aeroplane that requires a flight crew of at least two pilots. One of them is the pilot-in-command (the captain) and the other is the co-pilot (or first officer). All jet air transport aeroplanes and the vast majority of turbine powered air transport aircraft and business jet are multi-crew aeroplanes. The definition in Annex 1 — Personnel Licensing states that it is: "an aircraft required to be operated with a co-pilot as specified in the flight manual or by the air operator certificate."
Do I have to hold a MPL to be a co-pilot on a muti-crew aeroplane?
No, the co-pilot on a multi-crew aeroplane can hold either a MPL or a CPL endorsed with an instrument rating and a type rating on a multi-crew aircraft.
What are the differences between the CPL and the MPL?
For the purposes of operating multi-crew aircraft, the privileges of a MPL are equivalent to those of CPL endorsed with an instrument rating and a type rating on a multi-crew aircraft. However, and because the MPL is geared toward operation of multi-crew airplane, an MPL pilot cannot generally fly on single pilot aeroplane without meeting additional requirements. For example, MPL holders cannot exercise the privileges of a CPL and instrument ratings on single pilot aeroplane without meeting specific actual flight time and flight instruction requirements.
A number of MPL courses may be a modification of the current JAA frozen ATPL or the Transport Canada and FAA CPL/Multi-engine training, but it is expected that the majority will follow the guidance proposed in the Procedures for Air Navigation Services — Training (PANS-TRG) document.
What are the minimum flight hours required for the MPL?
The ICAO Standard for the MPL specifies 240 hours as the minimum number of actual and simulated flight hours performing the functions of the pilot flying and the pilot non-flying. However, the Standard does not specify the breakdown between actual and simulated flight hours and thus allow part of the training curriculum that was traditionally conducted on aeroplane to be done on flight simulation training devices (FSTDs). However, there is a requirement that the applicant meets all the actual flying time for a private pilot licence plus additional actual flying time in instrument, night flying and upset recovery.
Why was the MPL established?
The MPL was established to respond to the growing demand in the aviation training community that felt that the current regulatory regime that dictated a large number of flying hours in solo and on a smaller aircraft was not the most efficient and safe way to train pilots for copilot duties on jet transport aircraft.
Further, there was some perceived negative training in the apprenticeship model that was first developed for flight training in the post second world war era. A number of training organizations and airlines were adamant that modern training techniques and research into the use of modern training devices such as flight simulation training devices needed to be recognized within the ICAO licensing structure. The ICAO Air Navigation Commission formed a Flight Crew Licensing and Training Panel to explore the options and opportunities to address the shortcomings of some current licensing requirements. The competency-based concept and the MPL licence were the outcome of that panel's deliberations.
How can the MPL be implemented?
ICAO has developed the Procedures for Air Navigation Services — Training (PANS-TRG) document to support the implementation of the MPL and will monitor developments in this area through a proof of concept programme. This programme will involve stakeholders from regulatory bodies and industry. In addition, an Air Training Organization must meet the prescribed organizational standards which are also outlined in Annex 1 — Personnel Licensing and the Procedures for Air Navigation Services — Training (PANS-TRG).
What is the status of the MPL regulatory provisions?
The ICAO Council adopted the provisions related to the MPL as part of Amendment 167 to Annex 1 — Personnel Licensing on 10 March 2006. The new provisions will become applicable on 23 November 2006.