Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association Praises Congress for Increasing Pilot Retirement Age to 65

Dec 13, 2007, 00:00 ET from Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association

    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
Media Contact: Scott Brenner 202-222-8825

SOURCE Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association