A spotlight has again been shone on the USA’s ‘Age 60’ rule after three US Airways pilots filed a lawsuit against the US FAA administrator Marion Blakey seeking an immediate reversal of the age restriction.
The three pilots, who are part of a newly formed pressure group called the Senior Pilots Coalition, will all reach 60 by January 20 2008, at least a year before the FAA is expected to relax its age restrictions to 65. Under current FAA guidelines, any change will only be proactive, leaving those pilots affected by the old rules unemployable even if they meet revised standards.
In their statement the three plaintiffs note: “The legal action was filed…as a last resort, after an unproductive meeting with FAA officials, who indicated that action on the Age 60 rule would not be forthcoming in the foreseeable future.“To date, the FAA has paid only lip service to the notion of ending age discrimination under the Age 60 rule. Even though FAA administrator Blakey acknowledged in a major speech on January 30 2007 that “the time has come” to change the Age 60 rule, her office has proposed a vague timetable for action and has refused to grant individual waivers of exemptions to the rule during the interim.”
The pilots also note that current international laws allow 65-year-old pilots to crew international flights entering US airspace.