Monday, February 26, 2007

ALPA's 'Blue Ribbon Panel on Pilot Retirement'

Last month, the FAA proposed to change the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots in the U.S. from 60 to 65. As a next step in the legal process, the FAA will publish a 'notice of proposed rulemaking' (NPRM) later this year to amend the so-called  Age60 Rule.

In early February, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) announced that they would form a 'Blue Ribbon Panel' to study the issue and formulate a response to the FAA proposal. A news release on the ALPA website names Capt. Chris Beebe as chairman of the ALPA Blue Ribbon Panel on Pilot Retirement. Six other pilots were named to serve as members of the panel.

The ALPA news release states that the mission of the ALPA Blue Ribbon Panel on Pilot Retirement is to study the long-range effects of potential changes to the FAA Age 60 Rule and to identify issues connected to possible changes to pilot mandatory retirement age. In particular, they will focus on:
  • ensuring that ALPA plays a strong role in shaping the future of pilot retirement
  • preserving the credibility and effectiveness of ALPA as a public advocate
  • building consensus on the issues connected to possible changes to the mandatory retirement age among members of ALPA to the greatest degree possible
"This topic has the keen interest of every airline pilot in the United States," said ALPA's president, Capt. John Prater. "While ALPA's official policy supports the current rule, the fact that the FAA is proposing rulemaking requires serious deliberation.

"Because the rule is likely to change with or without ALPA involvement, our union must use its considerable influence to help shape the final rule to protect our members' interests," Prater continued. "To influence the rule, we need to gather all of the facts about the subject, educate pilot leaders and members about the implications of the pending FAA NPRM, and receive direction from ALPA's governing bodies on how the union should proceed on this important issue."