Congress Pulls an End Run on Age-60 Rule
The Senate voted late last night to extend the retirement age for Part 121 airline pilots to 65, sending the measure to President Bush to sign into law. On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed H.R.4343, the Fair Treatment for Experienced Pilots Act, on a 390-0 roll call vote. Last night the Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent. The retirement age provision was originally embedded in FAA reauthorization legislation, which has been stalled in the Senate. House aviation leaders decided to separate the retirement provision from reauthorization in the hopes that it would receive quick Senate approval on its own merit. H.R.4343 is more liberal than the international pilot age standard in that both pilots could be over age 60 for U.S. domestic flights. The International Civil Aviation Organization mandates that at least one member of the flight crew must be under age 60. The legislation will become law as soon as President Bush signs it, but it will not be made retroactive.