House OKs Pilot Retirement Age Hike

December 12, 2007 ( -The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a measure raising the mandatory retirement age for airline pilots to 65.

The bill, introduced by House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D-Minnesota), is identical to language already included in the House and Senate Transportation Appropriations conference report, according to a news report on the Air Line Pilots Association Web site (See  ALPA Sets Lobbying Course on New Pilot Retirement Rule ).

The Fair Treatment for Experienced Pilots Act, H.R.4343, was placed on the House suspension calendar, which the news report said is a special procedure used to speed up action by setting aside the regular rules of order and requiring a two-thirds vote for bill passage.

ALPA said the bill provides sufficient liability protection for unions, prohibits unilateral changes to labor agreements and benefit plans, and makes the rule change effective as of the date the legislation is enacted.

The Senate will now have to decide whether to bring the measure up under its own procedural motion, known as unanimous consent, in which a legislative matter is considered agreed to if no Senator on the floor objects, according to ALPA.