Congress passes rule raising voluntary pilot age restriction

The omnibus spending bill that was passed in December had a small change to the age requirements for pilots.

In 1959 the pilot retirement age was set at 60 and this was not changed until 2007 when it was raised from 60 to 65. The age ceiling was called into question with the pilot shortage and drop in the number of active pilots with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “Let Experienced Pilots Fly Act” was introduced in July 2022 by representatives, asking for the age limit to be raised from 65 to 67. The goal was to alleviate the consequences of the shortage seen after the pandemic. There are other pilot restrictions, like those holding a part 61 pilot certificate and operating in certain international air services and air transportation operations if the pilot has reached the age of 60.

The omnibus had a small section that would strike the rule governing operations until attaining the age of 65 and changing it to say that airlines may elect to implement an age restriction at 70 years of age. This can be done by delivering a written notice to the Administrator of the FAA, which would take effect one year after the date of delivery. This new age limit option pertains to pilots performing with part 135 or part 91k who have logged at least 75,000 turbojet operations in the year 2019, or any subsequent year.

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