WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Two senior congressional Republicans reintroduced legislation Monday to raise the mandatory retirement age for commercial airline pilots by five years to 65.
Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Rep. Jim Gibbons of Nevada said the regulation currently enforced is outdated and changing it over time would save jobs and retain experienced pilots.
"Our nation has hundreds of experienced, skilled, and capable pilots. Unfortunately, they cannot fly for any commercial airline because once they turn 60 they are forced to retire," said Gibbons, a former airline pilot.
Previous attempts to rescind the 44-year-old rule have failed, including one during the last session of Congress by Inhofe and Gibbons.
Absent safety data showing conclusively otherwise, the FAA continues to believe that overall cognitive abilities necessary for being an effective airline pilot may begin to deteriorate at 60.
But some critics have said the rule is an economic tool that benefits airlines because it allows them to replace expensive senior pilots with lower paid ones.
Leaders of the largest commercial airline pilots union, the Air Line Pilots Association, are reviewing the age 60 rule this year to stake out the position of the group's 64,000 members.
Some pilots wish to remain on the job longer to try and recoup wages and retirement benefits lost to the wholesale airline cost cuts of the past few years.
The union believes 60 is an arbitrary age, but also wants to ensure that any change, for which it would have to lobby, would not affect safety.
AT502B From South Africa, joined Dec 2004, 347 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 5197 times:
I hope this bill passes. As tough as the first class medicals are to maintain as well as company physicals these days- it pretty much weeds out the guys who aren't gonna make it. As long as a pilot over 60 is healthy and able to pass all the re-currency and medical exams- Why Not? I'm pretty sure the FAA medical division has plenty of Data pertaining to this bill which should help it pass. The bad part is it'll keep more young pilots out of getting that first airline job.
ShyFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5127 times:
FAA continues to believe that overall cognitive abilities necessary for being an effective airline pilot may begin to deteriorate at 60
I wonder if the FAA requires its own pilots to retire at 60? Hmm...
I'm pretty sure the FAA medical division has plenty of Data pertaining to this bill which should help it pass.
Logic and the government don't always go together.
The bad part is it'll keep more young pilots out of getting that first airline job.
Not really. If the bill passes, pilots would have to retire at 65 instead of 60. They would still retire, some may choose to leave early (as they do now). But there will always be retirements.
Isitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 6, posted (10 years 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5094 times:
The bill has been tried before and the the FAA twisted enough arms in Congress to get it to fail. It may happen again UNLESS there is a compromise to say,age 62 or 63.
We will see where this goes............again.
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
Corey07850 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2530 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5091 times:
Since you want to be a pilot, I'm surprised you want to see this pass... I for one hope all these guys finally hang it up to make room for us young guys. Once you get to 60, you've pretty much "been there" and "done that"... If you want to keep flying, go buy a piper cub or something
DB777 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 885 posts, RR: 42
Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5090 times:
This is somehow connected to the airlines dumping pension plans onto the PBGC, which will only pay reduced pensions to pilots retiring at age 60 because they consider 65 to be the full retirement age. If they retire at age 65 they will get considerably more from the PBGC than if they retire at 60.
Photographing aircraft since the Earth was flat and on Airliners.net since #338
ShyFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5073 times:
Once you get to 60, you've pretty much "been there" and "done that"...
This is true to a point. Thomas Block, who was a B767 Captain for USAirways (and columnist for FLYING) retired early. His reasoning was that there was no where left for him to go. Sure, he could have moved up to the A330 but he would be flying it to the same destinations he was already flying to. The airline offered him a hansom early retirement (better than what he would get at 60), and he hung up his stripes.
But it was his choice. Many people don't want to retire at 60 because the love the job, need the money, etc. Your tune may change once you reach that point. There will still be plenty of room for us "young guys."
FLY2LIM From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1196 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (10 years 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 5042 times:
The argument that 60 is "old" is outdated and without merit. Remember, Social Security (which many of you young guys may never see) was set up so people would earn benefits until the expected age of death, which was about 67. We now know how off target that figure is.
The best argument for the raising of the retirement age is the United pilot who was able to bring down the DC-10 in Sioux Falls after losing all of the hydraulic systems in the plane. I believe he was making his penultimate (the one before his last for those who need a translation) trip and he was probably the most qualified person to be in that cockpit at the time. What a shame to see him have to retire.
The other side of the coin, however, is that this would cost the airlines millions more in wages and benefits for the more senior pilots.