Pilot Retirement Age

As per the new bill signed by the former U.S. President George Bush, the commercial pilots can fly until the age of 65 years. Earlier, the pilots in U.S. could fly until the age of 60 years. However, the new bill raised the mandatory pilot retirement age in U.S. to 65, allowing the senior commercial pilots to fly an additional 5 years. With the implementation of this bill, the “Age 60 Rule” ceases out yielding place to the new one. This bill also brings the U.S. pilot retirement age in line with the international standards.

According to the Fair Treatment for Experience Pilots Act, commercial pilots can fly until 65 years of age, provided that they clear medical tests conducted twice a year. Moreover, all the pilots over 60 need to appear for additional proficiency tests like line checks etc. In order to continue with their works, pilots also need to take training and qualification programs.

Some Restrictions for 60 Years and Above

Though the new bill lets the pilots with 60 years of age to fly for additional 5 years, however, there are certain rules that they need to follow.

  • Pilots need to appear for a medical test and renew their medical certificate every six months.
  • They need to take part in FAA pilot training and qualification program.
  • Pilots need to appear for line check (proficiency test) every six months.

Controversies and Opinions

There have been a lot of controversies on raising the age limit for the commercial pilots in U.S. Allied Pilots Association (APA) and Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) strongly opposed the bill fearing that it would hamper the aviation safety to the nation. APA defends their contradiction by citing the fact that there hasn’t been a single instance of accident causing from aging since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) set the pilot retirement age to 60 in 1959. Increasing the age limit, according to APA, means experimenting with the public safety, and which may call for any unwanted situations.