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A US Senate committee voted today not to raise the retirement age for commercial pilots from 65 to 67. While there is a pilot shortage in the United States, but prominent figures in the aviation industry have spoken out against it.
— Sully Sullenberger (@Captsully) February 7, 2024
Captain Sully Sullenberger who gained fame for his incredible landing in the Hudson River back in 2009 (more here), is against raising the age. He cites safety and operational issues with raising the retirement age. The President of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), Jason Ambrosi, agreed:
Raising the pilot retirement age is a solution in search of a problem. Labor doesn’t want it, airlines are not calling for it, and the FAA says it shouldn’t happen. I’m not sure why we should be arguing about this.”
Reuters is reporting that the US House of Representatives voted 351-69 on a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that would increase the mandatory pilot retirement age to 67 back in July. The Senate Commerce Committee voted 14-13 to reject the retirement age hike after the FAA said earlier this week it would prefer additional research was conducted before Congress made any changes.
The Senate Commerce Committee also voted in favor of raising the number of safety inspectors and air traffic controllers as a current shortage of 3,000 currently exists. The Senate Commerce Committee’s Chairperson, Maria Cantwell, said:
We put more FAA safety inspectors on factory floors and more air traffic controllers into towers. We have a huge responsibility to make sure the FAA is doing its job to keep passengers safe.”
Anthony’s Take: I don’t have a strong opinion on 65 versus 67. I don’t see an issue as long as a pilot is capable of operating an aircraft with both physical and mental acuity.
(Featured Image Credit: Kenny Eliason.)
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