AVweb’s Question of the Week …



Last week, AVweb asked your opinion on biometrics as strategy in the war on terror.  Specifically, if the U.S. does introduce legislation to add biometric parameters to your pilot certificate, should they also require biometric readings for mechanics?

13% of the readers who responded to last week’s question were in favor of biometrics for mechanics.  What’s good for the goose, they say, is good for the gander … .

Another 20% of you agreed that pilots and mechanics should be treated equally in this arena:  No one should be tagged with biometric identifiers.  For this segment of readers, biometrics are the ultimate invasion of privacy.

The majority of you (61%) agreed with this statment: The identification of law-abiding people is not the problem — a terrorist doesn’t need any kind of license to inflict his will. Besides, the new certificates will not be issued to current certificate holders. Has anyone taken a look at the cost/benefit of this idea?


This week, AVweb looks at some numbers and posits a logical deduction:

Air traffic controllers suffer mandatory retirement at 56 because scientific data suggests there’s a sharp decline in sight, hearing, and other necessary skills as people hit their mid-50s; and science offers no evidence to justify relaxing the retirement age. "It’s a function of physiology," according to National Air Traffic Controllers Association President John Carr. At the same time, airline pilots suffer mandatory retirement at 60 (and in many countries, 65).

This may suggest that, in the eyes of regulators, pilots have the less physiologically demanding job. In very simple black-and-white terms, what do you think:

Do mandatory retirement ages indicate a difference in the physical demands placed on pilots and on controllers?

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