For Immediate Release

Release No. AOC 29-06
September 27, 2006
Contact: Alison Duquette
Phone: (202) 267-3883

WASHINGTON, DC — Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Marion C. Blakey today established a forum of airline, labor and medical experts to recommend whether the United States should adopt the new International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard that will allow one of the two pilots in the flight deck to be over age 60. The forum also will determine what actions would be necessary if the FAA were to change its rule.  

“The FAA must ensure that any future rule change, should it occur, provides an equal or better level of safety to passengers,” said Blakey. “I’m looking forward to hearing from the experts so the FAA can make informed decisions as the ICAO standard is implemented and Congress considers this issue.”

Since 1959, the FAA has required that all U.S. pilots stop flying commercial airplanes at age 60. In November, ICAO, the United Nations’ aviation organization, will increase the upper age limit for pilots to age 65, provided that one of the two pilots in the cockpit is under age 60.

The Age 60 Aviation Rulemaking Committee has been tasked to complete its work within 60 days. Committee members will represent airlines, pilot unions, medical experts, and the FAA.