Representatives of the US Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) have opted to reverse their long-standing support for federal regulations enforcing retirement at the age of 60.
ALPA has long opposed proposed changes to the mandatory retirement age.
But the association’s executive board has voted convincingly to end its support for the US Federal Aviation Administration’s regulation, after deciding that its resources would be better spent protecting pilots’ interests as new age rules are drafted.
Earlier this year US legislators introduced a bill to raise the mandatory retirement age of commercial pilots to 65, shortly after the FAA disclosed plans to adopt rules allowing one pilot to fly up to age 65 as long as the other is under 60.
ALPA’s executive board voted 80% in favour of dropping its opposition to changing the age limit, although ALPA president John Prater says: “ALPA pilots will be fully engaged in shaping any rule change.”
ALPA wants to prevent retroactive application of the rule change, so that newly-hired pilots over 60 – if not already active – cannot be credited with benefits for prior seniority.