A US lawmaker has introduced legislation that would raise the mandatory retirement age for commercial transport pilots from 60 to 65 years. The chances of its passage appear slim, however.

Alaska Senator Frank Murkowski says "there is no reason why we can't continue to utilise the experience and sound judgement of older pilots" as the USA faces a pilot shortage. The US Supreme Court has already upheld the US Federal Aviation Administration's existing age 60 rule. The Air Line Pilots Association supports the FAA, but affected pilots say the rule is discriminatory. The FAA says that scientists cannot agree whether or not a 60 year-old commercial pilot is a safety risk.

Deborah McElroy, president of the Regional Airline Association, whose members are most affected by the pilot shortage, suggests that expanding the eligibility of student loans and veteran's benefits could increase the pilot pool.

Source: Flight International