December 13, 2007

CRAPO PRAISES MEASURE TO KEEP EXPERIENCED PILOTS FLYING

Pilots no longer forced out at age 60

Washington, DC - Under legislation passed by the U.S. Senate, experienced pilots will no longer be grounded under an arbitrary age limit rule, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. H.R. 4343, the Fair Treatment for Experienced Pilots Act, passed the Senate by unanimous consent and will now be sent to the President for his signature. Crapo supported the measure, and also co-sponsored similar legislation (S. 65) in the Senate, which was championed by Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe, an active commercially-rated pilot.

"This is a victory for our nation's most experienced pilots, who are now suffering under the current age standards," Crapo said. "Estimates are that every day, the Age 60 Rule results in the loss of five experienced pilots. This measure instructs the FAA to end this discriminatory rule immediately and to allow American pilots to fly until age 65. Unions and companies are still allowed to establish benefit agreements so that pilots can still retire at age 60 if they wish to do so. As long as a pilot can pass the FAA Medical Certification, they should be allowed to continue to fly. More experienced pilots result in safer passengers in our country's airlines, and that's important to everyone who uses airline transportation."

In 1959, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) adopted the Age 60 Rule. It has faced increasing criticism that the rule has no scientific evidence to support it. In November of 2006, the International Civil Aviation Organization adopted a new international retirement standard of age 65, which brought increased scrutiny to the FAA's Age 60 Rule. The new international standard resulted in foreign pilots being allowed to fly within U.S. airspace while American pilots of the same age have been denied the same right.