In the question How do non-US pilots get the hours necessary for an ATP?, the question was raised of whether we have 250 or 500 hour foreign pilots flying airliners into major U.S. airports. DeltaLima's answer mentioned the ICAO Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL), which
allows a pilot to exercise the privileges of a co-pilot in a commercial air transportation on multi-crew aeroplanes.
Of particular interest is the large gap in the minimum experience requirement between this license and an ATP license that would normally be required to fly an airliner in the U.S. While the FAA normally requires airline pilots to have at least 1,000 flight hours (or 1,500 if they don't have a degree in aviation,) the requirement for the ICAO MPL standard is much less. According to ICAO:
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.
While the U.S. has no such pilot certificate, what I'm wondering is:
- Is a pilot who receives an MPL from another country allowed by the FAA to fly an airliner on normal scheduled passenger service routes into major U.S. airports?
If so, are there any further restrictions on doing so? For instance:
- Can they fly a route subject to ETOPS regulations into the U.S.?
- Can they fly a 777 into the U.S. or are they limited to smaller aircraft (e.g. turboprops and the like?)
What is required for a pilot to fly in another country? and I have a European EASA license - what do I need to do to be allowed to fly in the US? cover some general points about the certification requirements to fly an aircraft in a country other than the one where the pilot obtained their license, but they don't address issues specific to flying airline routes.
Interestingly, ICAO seems to suggest that pilots with an MPL would indeed be able to fly in the right seat of an airliner into any ICAO country:
International recognition of flight crew licenses
The Convention on International Civil Aviation, often called the Chicago Convention, provides for worldwide recognition of flight crew licences issued by any member State of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) provided that:
1.the licence meets or exceeds the ICAO licensing Standards of Annex 1 – Personnel Licensing to the Convention on International Civil Aviation; and
2.the licence is used on an aircraft which is registered in the State which has issued or validated the licence.
If the licence is to be used on an aircraft which is not registered in the issuing State, the licence holder must obtain a validation of the licence from the State of Registry or alternatively obtain a new licence issued by the State of Registry.
Can someone provide a reference to the FARs (or something of similar authority) or cite personal experience to confirm whether this is indeed allowed and, if so, what restrictions are placed on such operations?