Age 60 Panel Issues a Split Decision

 - December 15, 2006, 9:00 AM

In what many observers predicted, the FAA/Industry Age 60 Aviation Rulemaking Committee was unable to reach consensus on whether to raise the mandatory retirement age of 60 for airline pilots. Bloomberg News reported it obtained a copy of the report, which the FAA is studying but has not yet released. According to Bloomberg, four panelists representing the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and two from American Airlines’ Allied Pilots Association opposed any change. The four who favored raising the age were from Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways, the independent Southwest Airlines Pilots Association and a group called Airline Pilots Against Age Discrimination. Co-chairs Duane Woerth, president of ALPA, and Jim May, president of the Air Transport Association, didn’t endorse either position. The group’s only recommendation is that the FAA not change the age retroactively. Under recently implemented international rules, a pilot can fly until reaching age 65 if the other required pilot is under age 60. Two bills raising the retirement age to 65 are pending in Congress. Meanwhile, the vast majority of more than 5,700 comments submitted in a request by the FAA supported the change.