Age 60 Rule Going Away?

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Bill Sets Pilot Retirement At 65 -- Sort Of

Is there life after 60 for airline pilots? By the end of next year there may be, as long as they're willing to share the cockpit with a (relatively) young whippersnapper. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation passed a bill last Thursday that would allow airline pilots to keep flying until their 65th birthday as long as another qualified pilot under the age of 60 is also on duty in the cockpit. The so-called Age 60 Rule has been in effect for more than 45 years and the FAA has resisted (sometimes vigorously) attempts to scrap it. Last July at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey reaffirmed her position that the rule was here to stay, but Congress could change all that. The bill would direct the Department of Transportation to adopt new International Civil Aviation Organization regulations, expected next November, to allow pilots to work to age 65 as long as there's a youngster in the other seat. The European Joint Aviation Authority already allows the practice. The bill would allow those pilots who have already lost their jobs to the Age 60 rule to reapply to become pilots but it prohibits them from suing their former employers to get their jobs back or their unions to regain their seniority. The bill also orders the NTSB to monitor and report the safety impact of the bill, if passed. The bill now moves to the full Senate for consideration and, if passed, will have to be reconciled with a parallel bill in the House before going to the White House for the president's signature.