If that was true I still want to know the motivation for the change. What is the problem that exists with the current standard that needs to be "fixed" with this change.
I'm glad you asked. With respect to the courses in general:
Here's what I would like to see in both the Coach and the AFFI courses...
Instructors, be they Coach or AFFI, are handling students all the way to A-license officially and yes, beyond that in an unofficial capacity.
The students have a lot of learning to do to obtain that A-license. USA puts out the minimum requirements in the form of the A-License Progression Cards.
Why not test the course candidates knowledge, at the very least, on all those line items on the card?
For example, the Coach or AFFI will be teaching the students about spotting, center of gravity on an aircraft, aircraft emergencies and much, much more but the courses do not evaluate the candidates' knowledge on any of that.
Why not? For Pete's sake, why the heck not?
In reply to:
Is it money? Is the argument that we are making otherwise qualified candidate pay for more jumps before making it to paid instructing jumps?
That is the only real argument I can see for the change and I think it is a lousy one. In my opinion the individuals who should be holding an AFF rating should have no complaints about having to make enough fun jumps and coach jumps to get the 6 hours.
With respect to the tunnel time discussion: Agreed across the board.
From the point of view of a less experienced jumper I think it would be selling students short to lower the reqs. in any way. The people who take short cuts to ratings arent the people I would have wanted to take me out of a plane the first time, regardless of if it was safe or not. There should be a good industry standard to offer a good level of customer value.
Bingo! ...and I would question the "safety" of it, too.