Pilot Retirement Age: FAA Chief Urges Caution, Cites Safety Concerns

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Kathmandu, Nepal: The proposed increase in the mandatory retirement age for US airline pilots has sparked debate, with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advocating for a cautious approach. In a letter to Congress, FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker highlighted potential safety risks and the need for thorough research before any changes are implemented.

Concerns and Risks:

Whitaker stressed the importance of "ample opportunity" for comprehensive studies to assess the impact of raising the retirement age from 65 to 67. He expressed concerns, as reported by Reuters, about the potential implications for aviation safety, emphasizing the need for a data-driven approach.

Global Considerations:

Echoing these concerns, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg cautioned against deviating from international aviation norms. He warned that aligning with the existing 65-year limit would prevent potential complications in the future.

The Debate Heats Up:

The Senate Commerce Committee is expected to hold a hearing on the proposed change, following the House's overwhelming support for raising the limit last July. This issue is a key sticking point in negotiations for the FAA's five-year reauthorization bill.

Urgency and Scrutiny:

With the current FAA authorization expiring next month, Whitaker is scheduled to face Congress to address recent aviation safety incidents. His appearance underlines the critical nature of the ongoing debate and its potential impact on aviation safety standards.

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