Effort To Change Age-60 Rule Intensifies

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Airline Pilots Against Age Discrimination (APAAD) has hired Patton Boggs, a high-powered Washington, D.C., lobbying firm, to power up their campaign to get two bills through Congress that would let them keep flying till age 65 (without having to seek employment with a foreign airline), The Hill reported yesterday. Fifty pilots are expected to come to D.C. next week to lobby their representatives in person, the APAAD told The Hill. So far, the bills have gained support, but not much momentum. Both the FAA and the Air Line Pilots Association have made clear they are content with the age-60 rule as it is, leaving it up to pilots to organize and lobby on their own. Efforts to prove in court that the rule violates age-discrimination laws have so far failed. The Professional Pilots Federation (PPF) also has been working to change the rule. Bert Yetman, PPF president, said last month that as the time gets closer for ICAO to allow older captains of foreign carriers to fly into the U.S. -- starting Nov. 23 -- it may be easier to convince those in Washington that it's ludicrous to allow foreign pilots ages 60 to 65 to fly in our airspace, but not U.S. pilots.

NOTE: Watch AVweb's podcasts in the coming weeks for an interview with Dan Brannan, who is running against Duane Woerth for president of ALPA in October. If Brannan wins, will ALPA's position on age-60 change? AVweb is looking for answers.