The ATP certificate is the highest level of pilot certification in the United States and is required for pilots operating as captains or first officers in Part 121 air carrier operations (airlines) and some other commercial aviation roles. It requires a minimum of 1,500 flight hours and completion of various training and knowledge requirements. ATP certificate holders are authorized to act as pilots in command (PIC) of large, multi-engine aircraft.
1,500 hours of total time as a pilot that includes at least:
A restricted ATP (R-ATP) is a modification to the standard ATP requirements and allows pilots to obtain the ATP certificate with fewer flight hours than the usual 1,500 hours, with certain limitations.
The R-ATP minimum hour requirements are as follows:
The R-ATP allows pilots to become first officers in Part 121 air carrier operations with the reduced flight hour requirement. However, there are certain limitations associated with R-ATP, such as the requirement to complete additional hours of flight experience (typically 500 hours) in certain conditions before acting as a captain in Part 121 operations.