In July 2022, Rep. Chip Roy and Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced the “Let Experienced Pilots Fly Act.” The legislation would raise the retirement age for airline pilots from 65 to 67. The legislation came after pressure from airlines, which wanted to keep experienced pilots on staff as they face a staff shortage, reducing the number of flights available.
Thousands of pilots apply for the same job openings each year. Since pilots over 65 years old are allowed to fly for two more years, they can remain employed or seek employment for various open positions. Opponents of the bill claim that it would give the older pilots an edge during the hiring process, making it more difficult for new pilots to retain experience due to the lack of job openings. This could also lead to new pilots missing out on employment opportunities that would provide them with the experience needed to take their careers off.
Airline companies were pushing the government to pass the bill.
Airlines and their unions are expected to embrace the new law allowing those who thought they had to retire remain due to age to remain operating aircraft and or seeking employment. The legislation would allow airlines to grant an exception to the federal rule limiting how long captains can stay in the cockpit. This is expected to benefit the industry despite the higher salaries because experienced pilots have proven to have better safety records in addition to flying planes more efficiently and saving money for the airlines and passengers.
Not all bad news for new pilots
Although some may argue that more-experienced pilots bring a wealth of knowledge to the table, new pilots have a lot to offer, including a long-term commitment to a company. Several airlines and training industries are seeking those ready to start flight training. By seeking out these individuals, companies like Air and Space Academy (IASTI) can catch students much sooner, educate them, and train them towards a job in the airline and aerospace sectors. This means great opportunities and education for new pilots and students. Receiving an education and training through companies similar to IASTI is an opportunity not to be missed out on!
Despite bill H.R. 402’s raising the mandatory retirement age, other proposals are being considered to reduce the 1,500-hour flight time requirement for new pilots. This number is based on varying levels of education: prior military pilots can be certified with 750 hours, those with a 4-year degree in aviation need 1000 hours, and those with a 2-year degree need 1250. The reduction in required flight time is another reason why those pursuing a career in aviation must finish their degrees or certifications and get available jobs before the flight requirements increase again. Individuals who wait too long might find that they miss out on opportunities for a job in aviation. The aviation industry is changing quickly, and it’s crucial for younger pilots to start working their way into available jobs. People pursuing a career in aviation shouldn’t give up but should keep moving forward with their degrees. It is never good to have a “wait-and-see mindset.” Each year the industry changes, and so do employment rates, rules, and regulations. Don’t wait to see what happens in a year or two. Apply for those jobs while education opportunities and reduced flight time requirements flourish! Apply now to land your dream jobs! You can check out FlightLevelJobs.com for the latest in career opportunities.