US pilots can now fly until they're 65 instead of being of being forced to retire at age 60. A bill signed into law yesterday raises the mandatory retirement age to reflect the greater physical fitness of today's 60-year-olds, the Chicago Tribune reports. The new law puts an end to a half-century of industry debate and brings the US in line with the rest of the world.
The new law is unwelcome news for younger pilots struggling to find good jobs in the current airline slump. Others worry about safety implications of older pilots' vulnerability to fatigue, though the FAA says there is no proof of age-related risk. Pilots already forced to retire can return, but they must do so as lowly junior pilots.