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(NEW YORK) — U.S. airlines could soon be facing a pilot shortage that rivals the one experienced in the 1960s, reports the Wall Street Journal.

By next summer, new pilots must have more training time in the cockpit — a safety rule that takes effect just as older pilots reach the mandatory retirement age of 65.

According to the Journal, the rule will require new pilots to clock in at least 1,500 hours of flight experience, which is six times the current minimum.

Also adding to the shortage will be a federal mandate taking effect in early 2014 that will give pilots more resting time.

Bob Reding, the former executive vice president of operations at American Airlines, told the newspaper the shortage of new pilots means the industry “is going to come to a crisis.”

It may hit hardest at regional carriers, and passengers may notice fewer flights at the small to midsize airports they serve.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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