The retirement age of pilots has always been a key area of interest for aviation lovers. Not everyone is well worse with the fact the commercial pilot retirement age is 65 in most of the country. 65 might sound like a big number at retirement age but not everyone is aware that pilots undergo yearly, 6 monthly, and even quarterly medicals depending on their age and medical conditions.
The current dearth of pilots in the US has raised concerns so Senator Lindsay Graham proposed a legislation ‘Let Experienced Pilot Fly Act’ to raise the retirement age of mandatory pilots to 67 from 65.
The pilots aged over 65 mandatorily needed to maintain their class one medical certification every 6 months. Senator Graham Lindsay remarked it as a bipartisan issue where they must opt for a reasonable rational way of keeping people in the cockpit. However, this act proposed no modifications to the eligibility criteria of pilots and airlines are required to use the programs on training and qualification approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. As per reports, this is not the first time that the age bar for pilot retirement has been raised. Back in 2007, the pilot retirement age was raised from 60 to 65 years.
An acute pilot shortage in the US has resulted in 500 aircraft being parked resulting in the loss of air service among 315 communities. Considering the acute depression caused in the aviation industry the Regional Airline Association (RAA) is in support of the legislation. However, United Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta airline negated to comment on this measure.
Contrary to the decisions of RAA, Joe DePete, ALPA President also found no reason to change the retirement age of pilots as that may pose bigger threats to the passengers and the crews. Senator Graham added, that 14000 pilots will be compelled to retire within the next four years, therefore, adjusting the pilot age for enabling qualified people to operate in the cockpit was necessary. Thus, it was assessed that the implementation of the legislation wouldn’t render greater benefits to the airlines as it would pose limitations on international flight operations as foreign countries consider 65 years to be the apt pilot retirement age.
So what’s your say on the matter? Feel free to comment on your opinion.