DALLAS, Dec. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Last night, the United
States Senate unanimously passed H.R. 4343, the Fair Treatment for
Experienced Pilots Act of 2007, signaling the end of FAA Age 60 rule. This
follows the same action taken by the House yesterday, where the bill was
passed in a remarkably bipartisan 390-0 vote.
The measure allows pilots working for U.S. carriers to fly up to the
age of 65, a practiced sanctioned by the International Civil Aviation
Organization (ICAO) since November 2006.
"Experience counts," said SWAPA President Capt. Carl Kuwitzky, "and
this legislation will enhance safety by ensuring that we keep our most
experienced pilots flying longer."
Pilots from the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA) and
other carriers have been lobbying for almost a decade to change the
arbitrary and discriminatory age 60 policy which was rejected by most of
the developed world's airlines years ago.
"This is an important leveling of the international playing field,"
said Capt. Kuwitzky. "Since ICAO raised the upper age limit for pilots last
November, pilots over 60 years of age working for foreign carriers have
been able to fly in U.S. airspace, a privilege that has been denied to the
most experienced American pilots."
"Our thanks go out to the leadership of the House and the Senate for
coming together to pass this important legislation," said Capt. Kuwitzky.
"We urge President Bush to sign the bill as soon as possible so that we
don't lose one more veteran pilot."
SWAPA also wishes to thank the leaders of the Senate Commerce
Committee, Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI),
Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN), Ranking
Member John Mica (R-FL) and our dogged champions on this issue, Senator Jim
Inhofe (R-OK) and Rep. Robin Hayes (R-NC), both veteran pilots who have
been fighting for change for years.
Located in Dallas, the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA)
is a non-profit employee organization representing the more than 5,600
pilots of Southwest Airlines. SWAPA works to provide a secure and rewarding
career for Southwest pilots and their families through contract
negotiations, defending contractual rights, and actively promoting
professionalism and safety. For more information on the Southwest Airlines
Pilots' Association, visit http://www.swapa.org.
SOURCE Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association