House Passes Bill to Raise Retirement Age for Airline Pilots

July 20, 2023

The House on Thursday voted 351-69 to pass legislation that would raise the mandatory retirement age for commercial pilots from 65 to 67.

The vote was part of a bill that would reauthorize U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety and infrastructure programs for the next five years.

The Air Line Pilots Association has spoken out against raising the retirement age, saying it could cause airline scheduling and training issues, as well as force the reopening of retirement contracts. 

The Regional Airline Association has countered that raising the retirement age “allows retention of more experienced captains, who can in turn fly alongside and mentor new first officers, helping to stabilize attrition.”

The action comes amid a major pilot shortage in the U.S. As of September 2022 the industry was reportedly facing a deficit of about 8,000 pilots, or 11% of the total workforce that could potentially increase to 30,000 pilots by 2025.

Despite the provision, pilots over age 65 would be precluded from flying to most countries outside the U.S. due to international age rules. 

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