Pilots' Union Rethinks Retirement Age

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ALPA Members To Be Polled On Age 60...

Probably the longest-running debate in aviation circles (besides how to properly lean an engine) took a twist this week. After decades of defending mandatory retirement at age 60 for airline pilots, the largest pilots' union has agreed that it might be time for a change. "We have to be convinced (a change) would not affect safety," John Mazor, a spokesman for the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), told the St. Petersburg Times. "But there's enough there to warrant a re-examination. Everybody understands that age 60 is an arbitrary number." The union plans to poll its 64,000 members in the spring. Critics of the regulation, enacted in 1959, argue that today's 60-year-olds are more active, healthier and better-equipped for the job than their counterparts 40 years ago. They also argue that advances in aircraft and navigation technology have changed the job over the years.