Age 60 Retirement Rule Losing Supporters

 - April 17, 2007, 11:39 AM

Pilots for the legacy carriers are still narrowly backing the FAA’s mandatory age 60 retirement rule for Part 121 airline pilots, but most pilots flying for the low-cost carriers advocate removing, or at least modifying, the rule. Meanwhile, the FAA adheres to its five-decade-long position that age 60 is a safety measure, when in fact its promulgation was the result of labor dispute between the Air Line Pilots Association and American Airlines in the late 1950s. At a hearing Tuesday before the Senate aviation subcommittee, the Aerospace Medical Association said there is insufficient medical evidence to support the age 60 rule based upon age alone, and it recommended that the FAA abandon the age 60 rule altogether, increase the age limit to 65, or allow some pilots to fly after reaching age 60 and closely monitor them over a period of time so as to help develop cognitive tests.