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04-19-2018, 07:37 PM
This has been covered in a couple of other threads but because it's such a big deal I thought I'd give it a dedicated thread. Helps those who just quickly browse thru the titles.

Here's what happening in the past 24 hours.

Sooner than expected, the House has moved on the FAA re authorization bill. I'll post the article below, then do a reply with the AARP's letter opposing the age 65 provision. A lot still has to happen for age 65 (written so only NJA is affected) to become law.

FAA Bill Poised To Reach Floor Next Week | Business Aviation News: Aviation International News

by Kerry Lynch
Apr 19, 2018 - 5:16 PM
House leaders are planning to bring the revised five-year FAA reauthorization bill to the floor next week. On April 13, House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Republican and Democrat leaders jointly unveiled the new version of the bill, H.R. 4, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, that addresses a host of aviation issues but does not include the controversial air traffic control reform measure that had been the stumbling block to progress on previous FAA reauthorization bill.

H.R.4, which is packaged with the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, had been opened for proposed amendments on the Rules Committee through Thursday. As of midday Thursday more than 40 had been filed and a manager’s amendment was anticipated.

The Rules Committee said it plans to meet next week to outline the parameters for a floor vote. Full House consideration could come shortly after that: the T&I Committee is expecting that floor vote next week. Lawmakers have indicated a desire to move the bill quickly to prevent it from getting bogged down with non-germane controversial amendments that could come up during an election year.

Included in the proposed amendments is another attempt to pave the way for flight-sharing arrangements, as well as a provision that would bar the FAA from imposing fees for ATC services provided at airshows. Another amendment would call on the implementation of the recommendations from the FAA’s Rotorcraft Occupant Protection Working Group to require all newly manufactured helicopters to meet certain standards to improve helicopter fuel system crash resistance within 18 months. The manager’s amendment further is expected to include an amendment establishing an age 65 limitation for certain Part 135 and fractional operations. That amendment, however, is anticipated to be worded in such a way that the only operator affected would be NetJets.

NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen welcomed the bill as introduced. “The fact that it’s a bipartisan bill increases its chances for passage, and the fact that it’s a long-term bill should give us an opportunity to focus all our efforts on maintaining, and even accelerating, our continuing work to make the Next Generation aviation system a reality,” he said.

But a provision in the bill calling for a research program on single-pilot cargo operations has created some concern for pilot groups. “The desire by some in the industry to pursue single-piloted or autonomously piloted cargo aircraft seriously places the American public and the flight crews of these aircraft in a tenuous position,” said a statement of the cargo pilots of Air Line Pilots Association International, the Independent Pilots Association, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Airline Division.

04-19-2018, 07:39 PM
April 19, 2018

The Honorable Bill Shuster, Chair
The Honorable Peter DeFazio, Ranking Member House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee 2251 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member DeFazio:

On behalf of our 38 million members and all Americans age 50 and older, AARP is writing to express our opposition to any proposals that would impose a mandatory retirement age on general aviation and commercial charter pilots (FAR Parts 91K and 135). AARP has long opposed mandatory retirement; using an arbitrary age as a proxy for competence is wrong in any occupation, and it is wrong for pilots. Pilots should be judged on the basis of their individual ability, flying skills, and their health, not on stereotypes or mistaken assumptions about their fitness based on age.

The pilots affected are already subject to twice-yearly medical certifications and “check ride”tests of fitness and competency to fly. AARP supports requirements for testing and exams that are designed to measure the job-related characteristics needed to do the job. If different or additional types of tests are needed, the focus should be on determining that. But age should not be used as a shortcut to devising more meaningful and accurate means of measuring qualifications. Aging affects different pilots differently, and the greater experience that comes with more years of flying can neutralize some effects of aging.

The proposal to impose a mandatory retirement age on charter and general aviation pilots is not about safety. Otherwise, it would not have a coverage threshold of 100,000 flights per year, which apparently applies only to one company. That safety is not the driving motivation for this proposal is also revealed by the fact that time-share charter jet companies often use back-up charter companies for high-demand times such as around Thanksgiving or during the recent solar eclipse; these smaller companies, which would remain exempt from the proposed age-65 retirement requirement, themselves often use older pilots.

The shortage of pilots facing carriers – a circumstance due in no small part due to the impending mandatory retirements of boomer-generation pilots – has some experts proposing that the mandatory retirement age for pilots be increased, including forcommercial airlines: “There appears to have been little if any impact on airline safety since ... [the increase in retirement age to 65 from 60] was implemented. Raising this age to 70,perhaps in increments, should now be considered.” A few years ago, Japan increased the retirement age for their domestic commercial pilots from 65 to 67.4 In sum, a proposal to impose a compulsory retirement age on pilots who currently are not subject to one is a proposal headed in exactly the wrong direction.

On behalf of an aging workforce, AARP urges the House not to include a new mandatory retirement age in its FAA reauthorization bill. If an amendment is offered to do so, we urge the House to vote it down. If you have any questions or need additional information, please feel free to contact me or have your staff contact Deborah Chalfie on our Government Affairs staff at 202-434-3723.


Joyce Rogers,
Senior Vice President AARP Government Affairs

Cc: The Honorable Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader

04-24-2018, 05:37 PM
NetJets Pilots Cry Foul over Age 65 Retirement Rule

NetJets pilots charge that the provision was slipped into the bill at the 11th hour by Shuster at the behest of NetJets, which wants to force out older pilots in favor of younger ones, a strategy they say will save the company millions of dollars at the expense of some 700 pilots who will lose their jobs over the next few years.

“NetJets senior management has decided that hundreds of its loyal, highly trained and experienced aviators are ‘unsafe’ — or too costly — based solely on a pilot’s age,” a NetJets pilot, who asked not to be identified, told Flying. “This is not about pilot safety. This is about saving money. NetJets believes it can save millions of dollars by firing its older pilots, and without any sort of retirement benefits.”