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Blakey: "Time To Close The Book On Age 60"

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The FAA will propose a new rule that would raise the retirement age for airline pilots to 65, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said today. During a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Blakey reiterated the history of the age-60 rule, and said, "This is a change whose time has come." Issues of experience and equity clearly support change, she said, as well as the need for "global harmonization" with international rules, which as of last November allow for one pilot on airline crews to be over 60. Safety will be enhanced by keeping experienced pilots in the cockpit, she said. The new rule will apply only to pilots who haven't reached 60 by the time the rule takes effect. Blakey has asked the aviation rulemaking committee that failed to reach consensus on the rule last fall to reconvene and draft a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. She expects it will be near the end of this year before the NPRM is published, then several more months to recieve and review comments. She said the entire process will "optimistically" take 18 months to two years.

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