APAAD Announces New Website

Airline Pilots Against Age Discrimination (APAAD) is a grass-roots organization of airline pilots from every major airline in the United States. APAAD opposes age discrimination on the flight decks of our nation’s airlines. APAAD is working to shape public opinion and policy leading to the elimination of the Federal Aviation Administration’s “Age 60 Rule.”

(PRWEB) November 4, 2004 -- Federal Aviation Regulation 14 CFR (Part 121.363c) promulgates this institutional age discrimination. Pilots who are employed by airlines that operate under this part are forced to retire at age 60. The FAA does not restrict pilots operating under other parts of the Federal Aviation Regulations to retire at age 60.

It is our pleasure to announce the creation of our new website www.apaad.org. Our website www.apaad.org serves as a clearing house for information and research addressing the “Age 60 Rule.”

The best safety device on our nation’s airliners is an experienced pilot!


The present-day age of retirement for this nation’s airline pilots was set at 60 in 1959. Prior to 1959 no such age limit existed. In 1958 American Airlines, TWA and Western lost labor arbitrations. TWA and Western reinstated their over age 60 pilots. American refused. On December 20, the pilots at American went out on strike (over both contract renewal and the retirement issue). The airline capitulated to the pilot’s demands on Jan. 10, 1959; including acceptance of the arbitrator’s ruling on reinstating the over age 60 pilots.

C.R. Smith, Chairman of American and a personal friend of the newly appointed FAA Administrator, General Pete Quesada, addressed a personal plea to General Quesada, acknowledging his loss on the age 60 retirement issue, and seeking an FAA regulation to solve his labor problem. Against the recommendation of the Flight Safety Foundation, a non-political and independent organization and against the advice of FAA attorneys, General Quesada signed an administrative order establishing a mandatory retirement age of 60 for airline pilots. C.R. Smith solved his retirement problem and shortly thereafter, General Quesada left the FAA and went to work for American Airlines.


There has been much research since 1959 demonstrating no medical or safety justifications for the “age 60 rule.” The latest study is being published in Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine--Volume 75, Number 8--August 2004. The study finds..."On review of the existing evidence, the Aerospace Medical Association concludes there is insufficient medical evidence to support restriction of pilot certification based on age alone." Their findings may be found at http://www.apaad.org/reports/age60rule.pdf

Other studies may be found at the Professional Pilots Federation website www.ppf.org and www.age60rule.com maintained by researcher Samuel D. Woolsey.

The empirical evidence is overwhelming in favor of eliminating the “age 60 rule.”

The United States lags behind the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) member countries, which have taken the lead in eliminating age 60 as a mandatory retirement age. There is no evidence from these countries that operational safety has been compromised. The FAA allows foreign carriers to operate in US airspace with a second-in-command over age 60—a privilege the FAA denies its own US pilots.

FAA administrators since Quesada have had to defend the rule: the rule exists, ergo it must have merit. Changing this rule is a matter of politics. Opposition to this rule comes from four sources: The Air Line Pilots’ Association (ALPA), the Allied Pilots’ Association (APA)—once a part of ALPA, politicians who support those two labor unions, and the bureaucracy within the FAA. ALPA originally opposed the “age 60 rule” but changed its official policy after its co-pilots were given equal status. The co-pilots see the “age 60 rule” as an economic benefit to themselves—i.e. upgrading to captain.

Americas traveling public deserves the benefit of the safest and most experienced pilots. America’s commercial pilots deserve the same right as other Americans to work and retire at their choosing. Airline Pilots Against Age Discrimination (APAAD) has become a formidable advocacy group and we will continue to work for a change to this onerous rule!

For more information contact:

Gary Cottingham, Communications Director at e-mail protected from spam bots or www.apaad.org.

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Source :  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2004/11/prweb174543.htm