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Sun, Mar 10, 2024

Allied Pilots Association Backs Age 65 Retirement Age

American Airlines Pilot Bargaining Agent Thinks 65 is Enough

Citing the hiring downturn throughout the domestic carrier industry, the Allied Pilots Association says it believes supply is "sufficient to meet forecast demand", so the mandatory Part 121 retirement age of 65 should not be changed.

“The perceived pilot shortage is over, eliminating any further need for policymakers to consider changing the retirement age,” said APA President Ed Sicher. To further back up their position, the group quoted investor commenter TD Cowen, who said they "now believe the demand is fulfilled and expect hiring to normalize in 2024.”

“Safety considerations drove the establishment of the current international standard of age 65 mandatory retirement for pilots. Before making any change to this standard, we need data demonstrating the margin of safety would remain intact,” Capt. Sicher said. “No such data exists, and considering any change to pilot retirement age in the absence of supporting data would be ill-advised. Fortunately, there is no longer any perceived urgency.”

The decision isn't too surprising, given the group's opposition to the "Enhanced Qualification Program" along similar lines. They vehemently opposed changes to the ATP certification standards, namely the 250-hour reduction in flight time required to fly with an R-ATP cert. The end result, they said, was that 121 flights could end up with a pilot flying "with as few as 500 hours of actual flight experience," which would "return pilot qualifications back to unacceptable pre-2010 levels."



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