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"Bush Signs Bill Raising Pilot Retirement Age to 65"

Friday, December 28, 2007

Bush Signs Bill Raising Pilot Retirement Age to 65 
Congressional Quarterly Today 

The graying of America is about to reach the cockpit of the nation's
airlines, under legislation signed into law Friday by President Bush.

The new law (HR 4343) raises the mandatory retirement age for commercial
pilots to 65, from age 60. The change takes effect immediately.

The House passed the bill Tuesday, and the Senate cleared it for the White
House a day later. 

Older pilots have fought for decades to persuade the FAA to boost the
mandatory retirement age. The agency had initiated new rule-making
procedures to do so, but lawmakers decided to make the change legislatively
to expedite the process. 

Pilots who were forced to retire in recent years because of their age could
return to the cockpit if they're still younger than 65. However, under the
new law, their lost seniority would not be restored. That language was put
in to head off potential lawsuits over the issue, but it could discourage
some pilots from returning to work. For commercial airline pilots, seniority
brings not only higher salaries and other benefits, but also better routes
on larger planes.

The legislation requires pilots older than 60 to fly with younger pilots on
international flights, as required under a standard adopted by the
International Civil Aviation Organization in 2006.


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