FAA Proposes Raising Pilot Retirement Age

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The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration will seek a rule change and let U.S. commercial pilots fly until age 65, Administrator Marion Blakey said.

Her announcement in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington ends nearly five decades of strict enforcement of a retire-at-60 rule.

Blakey said it had become “increasingly more difficult to defend” mandating retirement at 60. She said the old rule discounted the benefits of experience and ignored medical evidence showing older pilots posed no inherently increased safety risks, The Washington Post reported.

Under the proposal, which would take effect in two years, if one pilot is older than 60, the other pilot in the cockpit must be younger than 60.

The newspaper said pilots who must retire at age 60 before the rule changes go into effect will not receive waivers.

Her proposal, which faces congressional approval, would bring the United States in alignment with many other countries, so pilots working for foreign airlines would be allowed to fly into and out of the United States until they turn 65.

Younger pilots wanting to move up in seniority — and get better shifts, better planes and better routes — opposed the rule change, the Post said.

SOURCE: Federal Aviation Administration

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