“Proposed Rule Change Would Allow Experienced Pilots to Keep Flying”

WASHINGTON---U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-Nev.) today reintroduced legislation in their respective Houses of Congress that would increase the mandatory retirement age for commercial airline pilots. Arbitrarily set in 1959, the Federal Aviation Administration’s current mandatory retirement age of 60 has no scientific basis and discriminates against experienced commercial pilots. This legislation would change the mandatory retirement age to 65 thereby allowing pilots to retire at the time they are eligible for Social Security benefits.

“We must protect our most experienced pilots who are in danger of losing their jobs due to the current mandatory retirement age of 60,” Inhofe said. “Due to thorough physical and mental evaluations in place for all pilots, we know that these experienced pilots meet the highest qualifications and standards. Americans are living longer, healthier lives and we must take this into consideration when examining mandatory retirement laws.”

"Our nation has hundreds of experienced, skilled, and capable pilots. Unfortunately, they can not fly for any commercial airline because once they turn 60 they are forced to retire," said Gibbons. "The age 60 rule imposed by the FAA has no basis in science, yet it is still on the books. I look forward to working with Senator Inhofe on passing this legislation, because it is time to rescind this outdated regulation and allow our most experienced pilots to do their jobs."

Senator Inhofe’s “Age 65 Act” (S.65) and Congressman Gibbons’ House companion bill (HR.65) would abolish the Federal Aviation Administration’s Age 60 Rule and replace it with a rational plan that ties the commercial pilot retirement age to the social security retirement age, currently 65. As a result of this legislation the FAA could not force commercial pilots to retire before they are eligible for Social Security benefits. The United States is one of only two countries in the Joint Aviation Authorities that requires their commercial pilots to retire at the age of 60.

Senator Inhofe introduced similar legislation in the 108th Congress.