Will Support Adoption Of ICAO Standard, But With
In a significant departure from its
longstanding opposition to changing the FAA's Age 60 mandatory
retirement rule for pilots, the Executive Board of the Air Line
Pilots Association, International (ALPA) voted Thursday by an
overwhelming 80 percent margin to end the union's longstanding
support for the current rule.
"The Executive Board spoke clearly this afternoon," said ALPA
president Capt. John Prater. "ALPA pilots will be fully engaged in
shaping any rule change. Any legislative or regulatory change needs
to address ALPA's priorities in the areas of safety, medical
standards, benefit issues, no retroactive application of change,
liability protection, and appropriate rule implementation."
ALPA tells ANN it will now turn its attention towards advocating
several priorities contained in the resolution, including working
to insure the FAA includes language to prevent retroactive
application of a change to the Age 60 Rule -- that is, pilots who
were forced to retire at age 60, before any change in the mandatory
retirement age to 65, wouldn't get their jobs back, unless they
applied and were hired as new pilots. They would forego any prior
The union will also work to ensure stronger liability protection
for airlines and pilot unions in implementing a change to the rule,
and that a change to the Age 60 rule won't reduce a participant's
or beneficiary's accrued healthcare or retirement benefits. ALPA
also opposes additional age-related diagnostic medical testing, and
any attempt by the FAA to obtain greater access to pilot medical
The union will also support a recommendation by FAA Air Surgeon
Fred Tilton to require a 1st Class Medical certification every six
months for pilots over age 60.
In a departure from the
FAA's push to adopt an "age 65" rule in line with current ICAO
standards, ALPA says it will push the agency to drop the
ICAO requirement that at least one pilot in the cockpit be
under the age of 60 for flights within the United States, once
appropriate data on pilots over the age of 60 is obtained from the
field to support such a move.
ALPA also supports a pilot's right to retire prior to the
mandatory age without penalty, and will continue to lobby for the
adoption of a bill which would provide full PBGC benefits to pilots
who retire at age 60.
The union states the "high likelihood of rule change through
either the legislative or the regulatory process, as well as survey
data from ALPA members overwhelmingly affirming that if the rule is
going to change, ALPA needs to influence that change" prompted the
union to change its mind on Age 60.
As ANN reported, earlier this
month, ALPA joined forces with Northwest Airlines to protest any
change to Age 60.