House Passes Age-65 Bill

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The House has unanimously passed a bill that would raise the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots to 65. According to The Associated Press (the actual bill was not available on the Library of Congress Web site at this writing) the proposed legislation, which still has to pass through the Senate, would bring the U.S. in line with the rest of the world. However, it appears thereís an important difference in the Houseís version of the legislation compared to the International Civil Aviation Organizationís rule. According to The Associated Pressís understanding of the bill, two 65-year-old pilots could fill left and right seats, where the ICAO says at least one member of the flight crew must be 60 years or less. The bill says that flights bound for other countries must have the ICAOís mix of relative youth and experience. The Age-65 bill was part of the FAA reauthorization bill thatís now stalled in the Senate. Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., chairman of the House Transportation Committee, and his Republican counterpart John Mica, of Florida, agreed to separate the measure from the larger bill in hopes the Senate would pass it quickly. "Each day that passes without raising the retirement age to 65, approximately five of our senior, most experienced pilots will be forced to retire," Oberstar told the House.