Back to Squawk list
  • 21

House Republican to introduce bill to raise pilot retirement age

Republican Rep. Chip Roy will introduce legislation Tuesday that would raise the federal mandatory retirement age for airline pilots by two years in an effort to keep more aviators in the cockpit amid a pilot shortage plaguing commercial carriers. ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

kelliott3ster 12
European Airlines allow pilots to fly commercial airplanes until 65. 60 or 62 make no sense.
Pity the same rules don't apply to Congress and the Administration.
ewrcap 6
Back when the change from 60 to 65 was proposed, there was wild speculation about aircraft falling from the sky as the old pilots dropped dead at the controls. Hasn’t happened. In fact, air safety has radically improved during the ensuing period. Seems most of the accidents are caused by young pilots who don’t know what they are doing or are crazy. Think Germanwings, China Eastern, AF 447,Pakistani etc etc. One of the first cases of a pilot dying at the controls AFTER the age change was a Continental 757 on the way to MEX. The Captain who died was on his IOE flight. He was 55. The check airman, who saved the day, was 61.
DonDengler -7
You sir have Classic SDS
Mooneymite Hight 8
There are lots of older pilots flying jets well past 70 in the part 135, or 91K world. These age restrictions are connected to part 121 and I suspect are subject to union concerns about seniority and career advancement.

It would be interesting to study "pilot aging issues" experienced by large operators like NetJets which has pilots over 80 flying PIC.
Silent Bob 1
I flew 91k with pilots in their late 60's and a few into their 70s. Outside of one former USAF F4 driver who was sharp as a tack they all required much closer supervision than the younger Captains. When the other pilot (FO) is highly experienced and competent it's not a huge issue, but as companies/airlines have to start hiring lower time/less experienced folks it could become a problem. I heard NJA was lobbying the FAA to bring the same 121 retirement age to 135, and there was even talk of making it a company policy since it hasn't come to pass federally. Heck, I've flown with a few 121 pilots in their late 50's/early 60's who said they could see the effects of age creeping in, and that was just the ones willing/able to admit it.
Billy Koskie 8
Even 67 is too young if the pilot can pass a physical and meets all other requirements. Go to annual, semi-annual or quarterly exams if it makes people feel better about them. But given current lifespans, 70 sound more reasonable to me. Besides, isn't there another pilot in the cockpit just in case?
Mike Mohle 4
Yes, hopefully the FO has an ATP and they do not relax the rules on that.
John Nichols 1
Jim Allen 5
Another political response to a problem they caused. They gave the airlines money to offer pilots early retirement, now anyone that didn’t take it is screwed. It sounds like NYC hitting business with an extra tax to cover unemployment benefits even if they didn’t lay anyone off.
Haven Rich 3
Hard to legislate awareness. A license is not a guarantee of ability. Qualification by age is an ugliness.
Al Eaton 2
Yep. Awareness, focus, reaction time, complacency (killed a lot of pilots) avoidance of tunnel vision. These do not improve with age.
patrick baker 4
make the medical exams more severe for pilots over age 60, until they flunk the exam, cannot qualify for the necessary medical certidficate, then if they pass, let them fly airliners with paying passengers as long as they are physically fit. I don't consider policies ageist as pilots like all other people decline in physical condition over time. I don't mind if the pilot in command requires a cane as he walks to the cockpit, if, once he sits down he or she can safely fly.
Mike Mohle 6
I have to get my Class I every 6 months, not sure what more exams could be done no matter what the age.
Silent Bob 6
I'm guessing he's referring to cognitive exams, and maybe more stringent medical testing than just an EKG like a cardiac stress test or similar. Some airlines, AAL for example, used to have a psychological exam as part of the hiring process. So they could incorporate that with the physical testing as well.
Michael Gaillard 0
Just have an AME (aviation medical examiner) fly in the jumpseat with pilots over 65. Lol…
belzybob 2
I find it amazing that the US still has ageist policies such as this.
Silent Bob 7
Um, it's not the US that does this. It's an international regulation applicable to any country that is part of ICAO, which is pretty much everyone that has commercial airlines.
jacques astre 3
It is not a US age policy, it’s an international standard and the US is required to follow it by law. If the good congressman pushes and gets this passed, Congress violated US Law, and the Convention unless FAA files a difference with ICAO. That means an Age 67 limit applies to domestic flights only. You can still fly after 65 but not for international commercial operations. I bet the good congressman has no idea about US obligations and how limited his proposed legislation will be.
CapeCodder -3
I am retired federal law enforcement. For the last four years, I was a field supervisor of a team of specialists. All FLEO must be appointed by age 37 and there is mandatory retirement the month one turns 57. The rule is at least 20 years in and age 50, with absolute mandatory at age 57. I retired just after my 56th birthday but could have stayed another year. Ageism is part of that culture for agents/officers. Support personnel was not impacted by the age restriction and were able to work as long as they wanted just like any other federal workers. None of us complained because we all knew the rules going in. Up until around 1991, it was 35/55. By the time, we reached our mid-50s and had at least 20 years in, we were all ready to retire and move on from the bullshit inherent to the job.
rbt schaffer 1
That's for 'career' employees and the limits are likely set by your UNION without regard to skill or competence on the job... government job... get in, 9-5, put in your time, PENSION
Randy Marco 1
Totally NOT relevant!
Scottie Marable 1
I don’t know what age but testing IS important! It’s hard for kids to take away keys..
Daniel Porter 1
With the increased life span of the pilot population and the greater health of commercial pilots, it makes sense. The current ATP 121 and 135 flight testing along with First Class medical requirements of 6-month evaluations ensure the safety of the public and NAS.
sweeper239 1
I flew F-4's in Viet Nam,Don't think I would have had the skill set required if I was 70 !
DonDengler 0
Good to hear one of you on this site admit it. The rest seem to be sitting around in the waiting room…..
jacques astre 1
The problem with this idea is that it is contrary to ICAO International Standards which means other countries are not required to allow pilots over age 65 to fly into their countries and they will not since it is every country's right to expect compliance with the Chicago Convention. Compliance with ICAO Standards is a requirement contained in all of our bilateral agreements. Further, in the 1990's, the FAA made a big stink about foreign carriers operating into the US with pilots over age 60, and later 65, when the Standard was amended. Compliance with the Convention and the associated Standards are also required by US law. The good Congressman may be well intentioned but did not do his homework. Removing the 1500 hour requirement, pushed by Senator Chuck Schumer that caused an instant pilot shortage prior to the pandemic, would be the better way to go no matter how much ALPA doesn't like it.
Drew Armstrong -2
Buttigieg believes that a 78 yo can run the country but not fly a passenger airplane, hmmm.
Haven Rich 1
Different skills required!
Chuck Lavazzi 1
That's an amazingly silly argument.
Ric Wernicke 0
Buttigetsit is in his 17th month of pregnancy leave.
SkyAware123 -2
HE matches biden, the most incompetent prez in history.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

ewrcap 6
Welcome to the 4th grade. Making fun of someone’s name. Definite sign of a loser but thanks for letting us know you’re a homophobic bigot.
DonDengler -5
Yay for REPUBLICANS! Get ready for the biggest RED tsunami in history !!
Jim Allen 4
No politics on the forum please unless they're general - like addressing a general DC screw up like the one that got us into this mess. It seems to be the only way it stays civil.
Randy Marco -6
Yup, a red tsunami of JAILED TRAITORS!
DonDengler -1
All this nonsensical chatter means moot. Until God Forbid there is a crash and the Captain was old. THEN these stupid opinions will die.
Scottie Marable -3
Rigorous tests over 68 for driving a car.
DonDengler -2
Not true in Arizona. People
Go there to die. But they are still driving ! Causing accidents.
ewrcap 4
Not as many as young people! Or drunks.
Randy Marco -3
Wrong, just ignoramuses created by repugnants not funding education, as is the case in ALL the Red States... to wit YOU are the perfect example!


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.