For Immediate Release

December 14, 2007


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) welcomes the legislation signed into law last night by the President that allows U.S. commercial pilots to fly until age 65. The determined efforts of Congress have averted a lengthy federal rulemaking process while enabling some of our nation’s most experienced pilots to keep flying.

Effective last night, the Fair Treatment for Experienced Pilots Act allows both pilots on a domestic flight to be up to age 65. For international flights, one pilot may be up to age 65 provided the other pilot is under age 60, consistent with the November 2006 International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard.

While the law is not retroactive, airlines do have the option to rehire pilots who are under age 65. The rehiring of pilots is not mandatory and is the decision of each airline.

In January, the FAA announced that it would raise the retirement age for commercial pilots to 65. The mandatory federal rulemaking process would have taken 18 months to two years. The FAA took a renewed look at its longstanding rule in September 2006 with the help of aviation industry and medical experts who provided the agency with valuable insight and analysis. The “Age 60 Rule” had been in effect since 1959.

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