"Before stepping into the cockpit of a commercial jetliner for the first time, pilots have racked up hundreds of hours in the air, usually at the controls of small planes.
In coming years, they may get most of their flight experience without ever leaving the ground.
The international organization that sets the world's aviation regulations has adopted a new standard that could alter the nature of pilot training. In essence, prospective co-pilots will be able to earn most of their experience in ground-based simulators.
The move is designed to allow foreign airlines, especially those in Asia and the Middle East that face shortages of pilots, to more quickly train and hire flight crews. The United States isn't expected to adopt the new rules anytime soon, but international pilots trained under the new standards will be allowed to fly into and out of the country."[...]