Employment Flyover: ALPA and APA Oppose Allowing Pilots to Continue to Work Beyond the Current Age 65 Retirement Age
June 02, 2022

Senator Lindsay Graham (R SC) is considering introducing legislation increasing the mandatory pilot retirement age from 65 to 67 to alleviate the current pilot shortage. 

ALPA and the Allied Pilots Association have opposed any such measure. 

  • Contrary to objective evidence such as canceled flights and withdrawal of regional carriers from markets due to lack of flight crews, they contend there is no pilot shortage. 
  • Citing a 2017 European Union Safety Agency study, the unions assert safety risks of increasing the retirement age outweigh the advantages.  Japan, however, recently increased the mandatory retirement age to 67.
  • The unions also have noted, because of ICAO age limits, pilots 65 and over would be unable to fly international routes.  It also means that if those pilots wish to do so—for whatever financial or personal reason suits the pilot—they could continue to fly domestically and delay retirement.
  • Unspoken is whether the unions might be concerned about the more numerous junior pilots who do not want to wait another two years for the vacancies and promotions that would be created by retaining the current rule.  
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