View Full Version : Will Age Limit Pass This Time?

26th Jan 2005, 06:03
US Congress To Debate Raising Pilot Retirement Age
January 25, 2005
Two senior congressional Republicans reintroduced legislation on Monday to raise the mandatory retirement age for commercial airline pilots by five years to 65.

Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma and Rep. Jim Gibbons of Nevada said the regulation currently enforced is outdated and changing it over time would save jobs and retain experienced pilots.

"Our nation has hundreds of experienced, skilled, and capable pilots. Unfortunately, they cannot fly for any commercial airline because once they turn 60 they are forced to retire," said Gibbons, a former airline pilot.

Previous attempts to rescind the 44 year old rule have failed, including one during the last session of Congress by Inhofe and Gibbons.

Absent safety data showing conclusively otherwise, the FAA continues to believe that overall cognitive abilities necessary for being an effective airline pilot may begin to deteriorate at 60.

But some critics have said the rule is an economic tool that benefits airlines because it allows them to replace expensive senior pilots with lower paid ones.

Leaders of the largest commercial airline pilots union, the Air Line Pilots Association, are reviewing the age 60 rule this year to stake out the position of the group's 64,000 members.

Some pilots wish to work longer to try and recoup wages and retirement benefits lost to the wholesale airline cost cuts of the past few years.

The union believes 60 is an arbitrary age, but also wants to ensure that any change, for which it would have to lobby, would not affect safety.


26th Jan 2005, 08:04
"the FAA continues to believe that overall cognitive abilities necessary for being an effective airline pilot may begin to deteriorate at 60."

Will age limit pass this time?

No, looks like the obvious answer!

26th Jan 2005, 19:53
60 may be an arbitrary age limit -but surely so is 65?

Kaptin M
26th Jan 2005, 22:46
the FAA continues to believe that overall cognitive abilities necessary for being an effective airline pilot may begin to deteriorate at 60. Japan has, for some years now, allowed some pilots to extend beyond the mandatory 60 years retirement age, to 62, subject to a thorough P.E..
This 62 years will be increased to 65 years as of April (the start of the fiscal year in Japan) - again it will not apply to ALL pilots, generally only senior management or ex-C & T.
However it is my guess that 62 will then become the standard retirement age by de facto.

Japan (like most countries) faces an extremely acute shortage of pilots over the next few years, and as training for experienced foreigners coming to Japan takes a minimum of 6-7 months, this may give the airlines some breathing space.
However, salaries for Japanese pilots are probably the best in the world (approx. USD20k + allowances per month - unfortunately about 1/3 that for foreigners :( ), and it is my guess that there are many who have had enough, and got enough by 60 to want to give flying away.

I suspect that pressure from the airlines will see the age in the US upped this time around.

Flying Guy
3rd Feb 2005, 08:40
I heard about this through an e-mail but when I looked on the web at various "age 60 rule" web sites, couldn't find any further information. Anybody know if there is a web site tracking this latest development?

3rd Feb 2005, 15:00
I for one hope to retire at 59. I have no desire to keep working in ever deteriorating conditions. I'd like to enjoy my pension and do things I'm not able to do now because of time-constraints. Not when I'm in a wheel-chair for all intent and purposes.

Why can't this be decided on on case by case basis. Why does it have to be black and white? Heck, I should be able to retire by 40 if I choose to do so...

Willit Run
3rd Feb 2005, 15:09
Senor Fire loop,
You can retire at 40; just do it. Your lucky you have a pension, I have zilch. The only thing I'll have is what I've been able to save and grow on my own.I can't collect Social security until i'm 67 and if i'm forced to "retire" at 60, that leaves 7 years of doing something new until i can really retire.
I love my job! I want to keep doing this. If i had to find another job that paid this well with benefits, I should start school now!
I would like to have the right to work until 65 if i choose and can pass all the required tests and physicals!

4th Feb 2005, 20:28
Mental ability deteriorates at 60? Has no one told the medical profession? Loads of Quacks soldier on into their 70s without any apparent complaint from the Government or the GMC.

Double standards anyone?

Bernd Podhradsky
7th Feb 2005, 08:06
Hey Friends!

Does the FAA really force you to retire when you turn 60? As far as I know, in Europe this depends on country law. I know 2 pilots flying for Austrian Airlines (Lauda Air to be precise) and they are 62 / 63.


Willit Run
8th Feb 2005, 00:59
Lets put it this way, at age 60 you cannot be a pilot of a big 121 type commercial plane. That is, no airline flying! I think you can still fly 135 in Lears and props, but no 121 big jet stuff. You can however work for some of the fractionals flying the big wigs around in Lears and stuff becuse that is part 91, general aviation flying. Even though you are being paid, its not considered commercial aviation. NO air line flying after 60 unless you move to the side saddle seat in some old clunker, which we have 13 of now! At 60, its the end for just about everyone over here, but we can't get social security or medicare, until our respective age comes up; 67 for me! What am I gonna do for 7 years? well, who knows, but I hope this passes this time around.

Bernd Podhradsky
8th Feb 2005, 14:10

This seems to be different here in Austria (or maybe in Europe in general). Last year I spent my holidays in Saloniki (Greece) and I spent the flight in the cockpit where I met a 63-year-old Captain. He said, that he's planning to do his job until he's around 65 and that it's no problem (as long as you get the medical).

The social service... well - we have a very, very good one in Austria, but since money is the root of all evil and everybody needs it, our social service is being minimized at the moment.

Anyway, I'm 20 and have private insurances, even if there are (must-have) insurances by the government. I just took the additionally, to be sure to have enough many when I'm older.

Of course, I only need the money out of the insurances, when my initial plan of getting very rich until 35 doesn't work :D.


9th Feb 2005, 10:10
As with all arbitrary limits the 60 rule doesn't stand up to serious scrutiny. Unfortunately for many of us it was encouraged over the years by ALPA as their members had a vested interest in making sure it remained (and remains).

However, there is no logic in forcing anyone, pilot or otherwise, to retire while he/she can still function at an adequate level to pass all the checks. Those who are luck enough to enjoy decent pension schemes in the major airlines can still retire at 55 or 60 or whatever their company rules dictate.

Please just stop trying to legislate for those of us not as fortunate as yourselves. And there are many of ALPA's own members who are very much in favour of change, guys who need to able to continue to earn a decent salary as long as theya re capable of doing the job. The sooner it changes, the better for pilots generally and for aviation worldwide as there are lots of other countries that will follow the FAA lead when it happens, as it undoubtedly will, either soon or at some stage in the future.