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.
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SOURCE Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association