Alexandria, VA, January 30, 2007 — The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) expressed its support today for Federal Aviation Administrator Marion Blakey’s call for the mandatory retirement age of airline pilots to be raised to 65. "In determining someone’s capabilities as a pilot, age should not be the only consideration," commented William R. Voss, FSF president and CEO. "Raising the mandatory retirement age to 65 does not present any safety concerns, provided all pilots continue to have their health monitored through regular physicals. The reality is that pilot incapacitation is not much of a threat in modern aircraft with multi-pilot crews."
Despite an International Civil Aviation Organization recommendation to raise the mandatory pilot retirement age from 60 to 65, a panel of experts from the U.S. aviation community concluded a study divided on the subject. Administrator Blakey will ask the panel to reconvene and reconsider the issue.
"With a desperate shortage of pilots in much of the world, it makes no sense to force experienced, qualified and healthy pilots to retire while airlines are scrambling to fill those seats," Voss continued. "This debate has gone on for 20 years. It is time to focus on more critical safety issues."
The latest issue of FSF’s AeroSafety World features an article about the issue of pilots and age and can be accessed at http://www.flightsafety.org/asw/feb07/asw_feb07_p11-15.pdf.
Source: Flight Safety Foundation (FSF)
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