WSJ: FAA Likely To Retire Age-60 Rule

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Citing unnamed sources in government and industry, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the FAA is likely to propose a rule change to raise the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots to 65 early next year. The report said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey "is crafting the new position slowly but steadily." Pressure for a change has grown since the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recently implemented a rule for airline crews that allows one pilot to be over age 60, but not more than 65, as long as the other pilot is under 60. The WSJ also cited a tight labor market and the lack of data to substantiate safety concerns as adding to the impetus for change. Some airlines have started to express interest in keeping its older pilots, as the costs of training and pensions rise, the WSJ said, although the Air Line Pilots Association remains opposed to any change. Under the current rule, an estimated 30,000 pilots would have to retire over the next decade, according to the WSJ.