At end of July all requisites to obtain the FAA ATPL will change drastically.
From August 1st., this year, the FAA will establish an onerous prerequisite that requires that anyone seeking to take the ATPL Written must have completed the – FAA Approved Airline Transport Pilot Certification Program – (FAR 61.156.). Among other requirements the program includes 30 hours of classroom instruction and at least 6 hours of training on a Level C, or higher, full flight simulator.
Although such course is not available yet and figures have not been published, an estimation of course cost will start at U$S 10.000.
Those pilots that already did the written exam can take the practical exam (simulator checkride) within 24 months without having to go through the Airline Transport Pilot Certification Program. Still there is no age or flight experience requirements for a pilot who desires to take the written exam, those requirements apply at the moment of taking the checkride. (FAR 61.153.)