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Archive for Wednesday, January 31, 2007

FAA proposes raising pilot retirement age

January 31, 2007

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— The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed raising the retirement age for commercial pilots to 65 from 60, a decision that could help older pilots cope with diminished salaries and retirement benefits but would slow career advancement for younger pilots.

Marion Blakey, the FAA's administrator, said Tuesday that her proposal would allow older pilots to fly, as long as the other pilot on the flight deck is 59 or younger. That matches a rule put in place last year by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Although that provision does not affect U.S.-based pilots, it would allow foreign pilots older than 60 to fly into the United States.

"A pilot's experience counts, it's an added margin of safety," Blakey said in a statement. "Foreign airlines have demonstrated that experienced pilots in good health can fly beyond age 60 without compromising safety."

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