The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says it will propose raising the mandatory retirement age for commercial pilots from 60 to 65.
Speaking before pilots and aviation experts at the National Press Club, FAA Administrator Marion C. Blakey said that the agency plans to propose adopting the new International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standard that allows one pilot to be up to age 65 provided the other pilot is under age 60.
The FAA plans to issue a formal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) later this year and will publish a final rule after consideration of public comments, as required by law.
"A pilot's experience counts -- it's an added margin of safety," says Blakey. "Foreign airlines have demonstrated that experienced pilots in good health can fly beyond age 60 without compromising safety."
Since 1959, the FAA has required that all U.S. pilots stop flying commercial airplanes at age 60. In November 2006, ICAO, the United Nations' aviation organization, increased the upper age limit for pilots to age 65, provided that the other pilot is under age 60.