Volume 17
April 21, 2014

A Weekly Aviation Career
Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.

A Weekly Aviation Career Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.
 
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A Weekly Aviation Career Newsletter from Avjobs, Inc.
Airline Pilot Retirement

FAA Rule Review - Long Overdue

FAA Bumps Airline Pilot Retirement Age

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Marion Blakey announced that the FAA will propose raising the mandatory retirement age for U.S. commercial pilots from 60 to 65. Speaking before pilots and aviation experts at the National Press Club on January 30th, Blakey said that the agency plans to propose adopting the new International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard that allows one pilot to be up to age 65 provided the other pilot is under age 60. No pilots will be grandfathered, and the new Age 65 Rule will not apply to any pilot who turns 60 before it officially is enacted. Blakey explained the logistics of handling individual waiver applications from affected pilots and their employer airlines would be too cumbersome. The agency has received about 180 requests in just the past few days, she said.

The Administrator acknowledged that forcing US commercial airline pilots to retire at 60 is 'becoming increasingly more difficult to defend. There's a heck of a lot of experience behind those captain stripes, and we shouldn't have to lose it as early as we do,' she said.

The FAA plans to issue a formal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) later this year and will publish a final rule after careful consideration of all public comments, as required by law. "Foreign airlines have demonstrated that experienced pilots in good health can fly beyond age 60 without compromising safety," Blakey said during her presentation. The Flight Safety Foundation agreed with Blakey's assertion that flying above 60 "does not present any safety concerns provided all pilots continue to have their health monitored. . .This debate has gone on for 20 years. It is time to focus on more critical safety issues."  The Air Transport Association said it "continues to remain neutral on the issue" and that it "will work closely with FAA to ensure a smooth transition should they ultimately decide to change the age limit."

The FAA says these retirement age changes will take effect in two years. The delay in releasing the NPRM will allow FAA and its Age 60 Aviation Rulemaking Committee formed last September to hear from carriers and other stakeholders on that issue and others.

 

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