Is 70 Too Old To Fly Airliners?

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On Nov. 23, the International Civil Aviation Organization adopted a rule that will allow pilots to continue flying until age 65 as long as there's someone younger than 60 in the cockpit with them. Just before that rule came into effect, the medical committee of the European Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) revealed it had come to the conclusion that there was no medical reason to prevent airline pilots from working past age 60. The committee's opinion was discussed at Flight International's Crew Management Conference in Brussels on Nov. 20. According to Flight International, aviation medical consultant Dr. Ian Perry reportedly told the conference that the JAA medical committee has agreed that a fit 70-year-old should not be prevented from commanding a commercial air transport aircraft on medical grounds. Another speaker, Dr. Jarnail Singh, said that in studies of the alertness of crewmembers on ultra-long-haul flights, age wasn't a factor.