Pilots would be required to accumulate six times more flight training time to qualify as a co-pilot on a commercial airline or cargo aircraft under a U.S. government proposal.

The Federal Aviation Administration rule, if approved, would require that pilots receive 1,500 hours of flight time compared to 250 hours now mandated under federal rules to become a first officer. New training for specific aircraft would also be required.

"Our pilots need to have the right training and the right qualifications so they can be prepared to handle any situation they encounter in the cockpit," FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta said.

The FAA was ordered by Congress to take action to improve pilot training and qualifications following the 2009 crash of a commuter plane in Buffalo that killed 50 people.

Full Story - Reuters