Fri, Sep 14, 2007
Approves Age 65 Provision To Transportation Bill
Airline pilots hoping to stay in the
cockpit past the age of 60 got a big boost this week, as the US
Senate approved a provision to the transportations appropriations
bill that raises the retirement age to 65.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the appropriations bill
was overwhelmingly approved the Senate, sending the bill on to the
White House for consideration by President Bush. If approved, the
rule would take effect immediately.
But that is far from a sure thing. The White House has promised
to veto the appropriations bill, as it exceeds the President's
spending limits for domestic programs. The Senate approved the
measure with more than enough votes -- 88 to 7 -- to kill such a
veto... but the House of Representatives only passed its version of
the measure by a vote of 268-153, short of a veto-proof two-thirds
Overriding such a veto could drag into months, according to the
Atlanta paper, and there's no guarantee the final version of a
compromise bill between the House and Senate would include the Age
Still, supporters of the bill say the Senate's approval is a
"Absolutely we think this is a step in the right direction,"
said Paul Emens, a pilot who chairs Airline Pilots Against Age
Discrimination. "We need this to happen and happen quickly ... so
this opens a new avenue for us."
Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, co-sponsor of the measure, says the
country "losing a number of experienced pilots every day due to the
outdated FAA Age 60 rule.. It is important we change the rule as
soon as possible to make sure our most senior and seasoned pilots
remain in the system."
The FAA is considering a similar rule, though its timeframe
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