Pilots Sue FAA Over Age-60 Rule

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The FAA is dragging its feet on changing the Age-60 rule, say three airline pilots who are about to see their careers come to what they believe is a premature end. But the trio is doing more than just griping about the situation they filed a lawsuit against the FAA in a federal court late last week to fight the age rule. The three pilots -- Lewis Tetlow of Bedford, N.H.; Richard Morgan of Charlottesville, Va.; and Joseph LoVecchio of Lancaster, Pa. -- are backed by the newly formed Senior Pilots Coalition, a group about 300 strong that is seeking a change to the Age-60 rule. FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said early this year that the rule likely will change to harmonize with new international rules that allow airline pilots to fly until age 65, but that process could take up to two years. During this period, the pilot group says U.S. airlines will lose about 5,000 experienced pilots thanks to the rule. Blakey has said that pilots who turn 60 before a new rule is finalized will be out of luck -- there will be no requirements for airlines to hire them back. The FAA is aware of the lawsuit and is reviewing it, spokeswoman Alison Duquette told AVweb. According to the lawsuit, the FAA has allegedly refused to consider the pilots' requests for exemptions from the rule, and "the FAA's intentional failure to act on the waiver applications threatens Petitioners with irreparable harm."