Recently, the FAA announced new regulation changes that will accomplish many exciting things for pilots and flight simulator owners. These changes will save over $110 million over the next five years, and bring many advantages from the current system.
All these changes help to reduce the cost of flight training and simplify many aspects of training for pilots. Also, the regulatory updates make owning a flight simulator more important than ever, as flight schools will now receive even more benefit and cost savings from their devices. The extensive changes to "Part 61" will be implemented between July 27 and December 24, 2018, and will begin to leverage advances in avionics, aircraft equipment, flight simulators, and flight training equipment.
In addition to the tremendous short-term value of these changes, the FAA has also made it clear that they will adapt and accept modern technology for flight training as it improves. The most significant change, allowing pilots to use aviation training devices for currency, is valued at over a $76 million cost saving. This particular regulatory change takes effect on November 26, and any combination of ATD will be eligible to accomplish the flight experience required for receiving currency. In addition to all these changes, sport pilot instructors will be permitted to gain necessary flight hours in an ATD flight simulator to obtain endorsement required to teach instrument skills.
Sources; AOPA, FAA, eCFR