The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) opposes new legislation that tries to increase the required retirement age for professional airline pilots and was sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) today.
“This legislation is yet another attempt to distract the conversation from the real issue, which is that some U.S. airlines have clearly failed to plan for the industry’s comeback that we are experiencing today,” said Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA president.
“ALPA strongly opposes this proposed legislation, as there is no reason to change the retirement age and doing so would only increase costs for airlines and introduce unnecessary risks to passengers and crew alike.”
The proposed legislation is yet another misguided effort to address a non-existent issue. In an effort to loosen safety restrictions and increase the pool of prospective airline pilot candidates, numerous aviation stakeholders continue to spread false information regarding a “pilot shortage” in the United States.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) most recent statistics, more pilots were trained in the US in the last 12 months (8,402) than there were in 2019.
“The plain truth is that airlines should take responsibility for their business decisions to cut or reduce service to less-profitable markets while adding service to high-demand communities. Instead, they’re making excuses that aren’t supported in fact or, far worse, calling for regulation rollbacks that would threaten safety,” added DePete.
A resolution opposing any attempts to raise the retirement age for professional airline pilots was endorsed by ALPA’s pilot leaders in May. The resolution cited the serious unintended implications to aviation safety and the pilot workforce as a whole.