...FAA Firm, But What About Congress?

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Last we heard, the FAA remains adamant in upholding the rule. It's a topic that always comes up at the annual Meet The Boss session at EAA AirVenture and current FAA Administrator Marion Blakey has consistently refused to consider a change. Could it be taken out of the FAA's hands? Congress in 2001 considered (and eventually voted against) a bill to raise the age to 63. ALPA lobbied against that bill but a change in the union's position might be enough to sway Congress, said Kit Darby, a United pilot who runs a pilot career-consulting business called AIR Inc. Meanwhile, there continues to be no shortage of grass-roots opposition to the rule. A new organization, Airline Pilots Against Age Discrimination, has launched a Web site and is conducting a letter-writing campaign. Its slogan is: "The best safety device on our nation's airliners is an experienced pilot!"

NOTE: See AVweb's prior coverage, which includes issues surrounding medical factors, accidents and age.