Airline Retirement Age Now 65

USA Today reports that congress yesterday approved an increase in the mandatory retirement age of airline pilots to 65. This is a change that the pilots have been wanting for years, and it shouldn't hurt the airlines either. The bill isn't officially law yet, but it looks like it'll make it all the way through.

Many airline pilots endure pretty bad conditions and pay for years, hoping to finally make it to a job flying a large jet for a major airline. Up until now, by the time a pilot got to that left seat in a wide-body, he or she only had a few years of good pay before being forced to retire at age 60. Giving these pilots 5 more years, will make a huge difference in their job enjoyment and ability to support themselves after retiring.

The airlines themselves ought to like this as well. They've been having to give up their most experiencced pilots while they could still play a key role as instructors, mentors, and pilots. This will give the airlines a few more years of use out of their most valuable employees. In the meantime, it ought to help to lessen the effects of pilot shortages affecting airlines around the country.