Cosponsors Freedom to Fly Act: Extends Mandatory Retirement Requirements

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Ted Poe announced today that he is cosponsoring legislation that will extend the mandatory retirement for airline pilots from age 60 to age 65. H.R. 1125, The Freedom to Fly Act allows pilots to fly up to age 65 so long as the co-pilot is under age 60.

The mandatory retirement policy is meant to put safety in the skies first, said Poe. However, by forcing our most experienced pilots into retirement without any regard of their capabilities may actually compromise our safety. Our veteran pilots will continue to meet the same rigorous standards as younger pilots, but extending the retirement age will keep qualified, experienced pilots in the air without compromising any safety standards.

On January 30, 2007, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced its decision to end the Age 60 retirement rule, because the Administrator argued that safety in the cockpit is enhanced by allowing our most experienced pilots to fly an additional 5 years. Since November 2006, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has allowed foreign pilots over the age of 60 to fly into the United States as long as the co-pilot is under 60.

H.R. 1125, Freedom to Fly Act of 2007:

?Raises the retirement age of commercial airline pilots from 60 to 65.

?Allows pilots age between the ages of 60-65 to continue flying with co-pilots under age 60.

?Prevents lawsuit abuse. Pilots cannot abuse our legal system with lawsuits against airlines and pilot unions if they were forced to retire before the law is changed. Airlines can rehire retired pilots at their own discretion.

Congressman Poe serves on the Aviation Subcommittee of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Bush Intercontinental Airport resides in the Second Congressional District and Congressman Poe has long been an advocate for pilots and the airline industry since he was elected to Congress.