ALPA Sets Lobbying Course on New Pilot Retirement Rule

May 25, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.COM) - Commercial airline pilot union officials on Friday dropped their support of the government's Age 60 retirement rule and pledged to work with lawmakers and the Bush Administration on new retirement regulations.

According to a news release from the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the group intends to leave its mark on the rulemaking process governing when commercial pilots will now have to leave the cockpit.

“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.”

The pilots union said it would concentrate on the following areas:

  • Appropriate legislative language to ensure stronger liability protection for airlines and pilot unions in implementing a change to the rule.
  • Ensuring that under a defined benefit retirement plan, a change to the Age 60 Rule will not reduce a participant’s or beneficiary’s accrued benefit nor reduce a benefit to which a participant or beneficiary would have been entitled without enactment of such a change to the Rule.
  • Opposing any additional age-related diagnostic medical testing.
  • Opposing any attempt by the FAA to obtain greater access to pilot medical records.
  • Supporting FAA Air Surgeon Tilton’s recommendation to require a 1st Class Medical certification every six months for pilots over age 60.

The ground began shifting on the Age 60 rule when FAA Administrator Marion Blakey announced in January 2007 that “the FAA will propose a new rule to allow pilots to fly until they are 65,” and that “(t)he rule we intend to propose will parallel the ICAO standard — either pilot or copilot may fly up to age 65 as long as the other crewmember is under 60.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA represents 60,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at .