View Full Version : Retirement age for pilots now 65 in Asia.

Kaptin M
6th Dec 2004, 12:17
The retirement age for Japanese pilots has been raised from 63, to 65 recently.

The forthcoming "Baby Boomer" (post WWii) peak of imminent retirees has obviously played a major role in the JCAB's (Japan Civil Aviation Bureau's) decision to revise (upwards) the age at which pilots flying in Japan can operate domestically in airlines.

It is also an indication that Japan is unable to attract sufficient non-Japanese pilots, to fill the massive vacancies that will inevitably occur en masse, meaning Japanese airlines will be left unable to cope with projected future growth, and therefore losing valuable market share if Japan wishes to cash in on the burgeoning tourist influx.

The likely winners are the Chinese airlines, now actively recruiting foreign pilots to fill their own shortfalls.

China 's tourist numbers to Japan have been on a progressive rise for the past number of years, as the affordability of air travel, and affluence of that country increases.

Pilot salaries offered by Chinese airlines have been on a continual rise, whereas salaries and conditions offered by the Japanese have decreased, making the Japanese aviation employment scene "just another Asian contender", according to some pilot recruitment agencies.

Fr8t M8te
6th Dec 2004, 12:36
Anyone know what the retirement ages are for the rest of the countries in the Far East hiring expats?


6th Dec 2004, 14:57
With Europe having no limit from 2006, Hong Kong CAD will follow suit.

6th Dec 2004, 19:34
Hi Baywatcher...

Is that true????No limit for airline pilots????

:{ :{ :{

7th Dec 2004, 03:09
Very recently from a “horse’s mouth”:

In October 2005, ICAO will review the current air transport pilot (commander) retirement age of 60 as the overwhelming majority of contracting ICAO states is now in favour of revising upwards to age 65.

Formerly this scheme had been stymied by intervention from the USA but that nation’s objection has now been dropped as there is no convincing statistical medical evidence available to demonstrate the overriding necessity for pilot (commander) retirement at age 60.

Individual states may currently have retirement ages at, say 63-65, thus permitting domestic flying, but other states may prevent over-flight/landing of overage (60+) crews by citing the current ICAO age 60 rule that is, by default, incorporated into their own national legislation.

Eg: EU pilot (commander) retirement age 65 – France prevents over-flight/landing of such over 60’s crews by embracing the current ICAO retirement ruling (60) into its national legislation.

When ICAO moves upwards to retirement at 65, France will be unable to continue on this tack.

7th Dec 2004, 07:25
I'm more interested in how soon I can retire, not how long I can keep working for!:E

7th Dec 2004, 07:49
I seem to remember from my air law days that you could fly up to 65 as long as you were the only flight crew member onboard over 60. In other words as soon as you were 60 or over your first officer had to be 59 or less.

Does anyone else remember this?


7th Dec 2004, 21:41

Age 60-64. The holder of a pilot licence who has attained the age of 60 years shall not act as a pilot of an aeroplane engaged in commercial air transport operations except:
as a member of a multi-pilot crew and provided that...
such holder is the only pilot in the flight crew who has attained the age of 60.

Age 65. The holder of a pilot licence who has attained the age of 65 years shall not act as a pilot of an aeroplane engaged in commercial air transport operations.

11th Dec 2004, 23:38
Just heard from a 'whiteeye'with Japan Air that they(whiteeyes) are allowed to stay until 63?at the moment....subject to change:ok:

14th Dec 2004, 08:18
Kaptin M

Having been recently discarded by my company for having had the cheek to reach age 60 this is a subject close to my heart.

I believe that you may however been wrong about the Chinese; from what I've been able to establish China actively enforces an age 60 rule.



14th Dec 2004, 15:25
If anyone has trouble sleeping, here's the ruling from the 1998 High Court of Australia case re the Rule of 60:


I've scoured far & wide to try & find Annex I to the Chicago Convention but haven't been able to track it down. Might be that a change in the Convention is required...

One thing which I've wondered since the 1998 case: Capt Christie was a 744 pilot and Qantas' case was that he couldn't perform that job by operation of law in countries where he'd be required to operate.

What about if he was, say, a 737 pilot? It appears from the case that it was agreed that an over-60 pilot could operate to DPS, NAN and NZ as well as in Australia, due to lack of legislation in those countries forcing overflying pilots to be under 60. Do the 737s go further afield? If not, then by Qantas' own admission, then is the company forcing 737 pilots to retire at 60? Could 767/747/A330 pilots who reach 60, possibly convert to 737/717/DHC-8?

Max Angle
14th Dec 2004, 17:02
It's all very well for the law to say that you can carry on to 65 but people grow older at different rates and I've flown with a few near 60 years old who really should have been retired. 5-6 days on, early starts and high intensity short-haul in busy airspace takes it out of me now, can't imagine being up to it aged 65. Granted there will be those who would still be up to it at 70, I know a few, but I can see an awfull lot of awkward and pride destroying sessions in the sim coming up if 65 becomes the norm. Not easy to take someone to one side and say "no more", pretty rare now but not in the future I fear.

Lord Lucan
15th Dec 2004, 17:55
Does anyone have a hard reference on this change from retirement at 60 to 65.

I find nothing at ICAO web.

Any official words or press releases? Any convincing web sites.

This is our future and will effect many of us. It cirtainly affects me!


15th Dec 2004, 18:30
Max Angle: Sorry to say it, but, I've flown with a lot of younger aged felllow pilots whom have had a wink or two, well before 'top of descent'!!!! It's all very relative but, to limit people on the assumption that age is a limiting factor to their abilities in carying out their profession is daft. It's more to do with Unions and the 'labour agreements', drafted and agreed upon to support and promote professionals within the companies. Let's be fair this regulation on 'age limitation' is long overdew for a change.


15th Dec 2004, 18:41
True, it's fair to say that we do all age at different rates - but it's also fair to say that statistically, people these days are not only living nominally longer, but are healthier longer as well. This has been happening over a period of years - in the Christie case, over Capt Christie's career the max age was moved from 55 to 60.

Lifestyle, genetics and a host of other factors doubtless play a part. The captain of the Iberia A340 which recently had to drop into Lisbon was doubtless within age and checked out fine at his last medical.

That didn't prevent him from later suffering a fatal heart attack.

15th Dec 2004, 21:01

Capt Christie and others wanted to continue flying, but if my memory is correct they wanted to continue on the 747-400. QF argued successfully in Court that they could not utilise them due to the type of flying the 400 did.
There are about 20-25 Captains with QF who are 60+ flying the 737, 767, A330 domestically in Australia and to NZ.
Bali comes under Indonesian rules who in the past have restricted the age rule to below 60.
I wander how many more in Qantas will now extend beyond 60!

16th Dec 2004, 00:07
Max Angle:

"I can see an awfull lot of awkward and pride destroying sessions in the sim coming up if 65 becomes the norm. Not easy to take someone to one side and say "no more", pretty rare now but not in the future I fear."

You make a very valid point. Starting your retirement unexpectedly as a result of a failure in the sim could be a very bitter pill to swallow. Most pilots I know take a great deal of pride in what they do and if your competence has degraded without your noticing it, it could be very tough to be told, as you put it, "no more".
Having said that I still find an arbitrary date to be illogical in determining your competency.

Chimbu chuckles
16th Dec 2004, 07:30
RaTa up to 2 years ago Indonesia allowed their own nationals to fly Part 121 until 64 and the only lmitation for pilots of foriegn registered aircraft was that they comply with the State of registrations rules....so a QF Captain could go on doing Bali until he failed a medical.

If it has changed since then I'm unaware.

16th Dec 2004, 09:07
Chimbu Chuckles

For some reason only known to himself, one of our 60+ made an enquiry with the Indonesians and they said 60 was max. So he now does domestic and the odd Tasman.
Having said that I am willing to admit something may have gone astray in the translation.

16th Dec 2004, 13:41
Believe Dragon also had fun with this issue afew years back when a 60yr old Captain was offered a 2 yr extension in the RHS in same aircraft/same company, only to find once he had commenced extensions that he was limited to shuttles between HKG & Taiwan with the odd flight elsewhere - I think he couldn't fly in to China if my memory serves....similar reasons to above...

I think he's now fully retired...

Not sure what HKCAD's view was of the the rules etc as I cannot recall accurately but I'm sure that one of the HK bods will do so...


19th Dec 2004, 17:03
Heard a rumour that Singapore are about to extent to 62.