The Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL) was adopted by ICAO as part of Annex 1, published in the Procedures for Air Navigation Services – Training (PANS-TRG), doc 9868t, which shifts the focus from prescriptive flying hour requirements to competency-based training and assessment. It is in limited use and remains controversial.
The MPL is designed to develop the abilities needed to fly multi-crew airline airplanes. Compared to traditional training pathways it makes greater use of simulators, adopts competency-based-training methods and further applies human factors and threat and error management in all phases of training. Traditional training methods emphasize independence and individual skills. While appropriate for single-pilot operations, they can impede the transfer to multi-crew operations. Pilots moving to work in airlines have needed bridging training.
MPL procedures put more emphasis on simulator training including the use of simulated air traffic control. Pilots will still be able to take the traditional pathway to qualify to fly as co-pilot, progressing from the private pilot license through the commercial license to the air transport pilot license.
To support MPL implementation, IATA has developed guidance material and best practices