Pilot retirement age raised to 67: Benefits and Detriments

Recently, the looming shortage of pilots has led authorities to revisit the retirement age for pilots. Read more about the statistics in this issue of the International Journal of Aviation, Aeronautics, and Aerospace. For the sake of this post, we’re going to explore the boons and banes of the shift of pilots’ retirement age from 60 to 67.
Could this really be a good call?
Retired Florida Congressman John Mica said, “I have no problem with that, as long as they pass a medical test and also look at reflex and cognitive ability. Something that can’t be beat is experience on the job” , speaking about further raising the already increased pilot retirement age from 60 to 65 to now 67 years of age.

Considering the United States is likely to face a shortage of over 12,000 pilots by 2023, raising the retirement age to 65-67 doesn’t seem all that a bad idea. As established before this, the mandatory retirement age set earlier has been arbitrary and not based on medical science.
Drawbacks of Reconvening Older Pilots
There are some drawbacks of this cause which primarily stem from the lack of implementation of safety regulations. A pilot over 60 years of age is more likely at risk of health issues at an altitude, despite passing the medical checks. A possibility of a lapse in promptness of medical checks causes major concern for a green signal to this cause.

While experience counts, there are risk factors that have not been properly weighed against the demanding nature of the job! Strict medical assessments are a must before any step is taken.
Final Words
Having said that, with every kid around the block wanting to be a pilot, and not many of them growing up to be one, calculated, and safety regulated measures do need to be taken to keep the show running. As aviation safety instructor Michael Barr says, “When you’ve got cockpit seats needing to be filled, you’re going to fill them”! (keeping risk assessment, safety, and solid medical checks in mind, of course!)


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