Rep. Roy introduces bill to alleviate pilot shortage by raising mandatory retirement age

WASHINGTON— On Monday, Rep. Chip Roy (TX-21) and Senator Lindsey Graham (SC) announced the “Let Experienced Pilots Fly Act,” which will help alleviate the pilot shortage by raising the mandatory commercial pilot retirement age from 65 to 67.

The pilot shortage is a direct contributor to the unprecedented number of flight delays and cancellations Americans are experiencing on a regular basis. One recent study found that North America will be short 12,000 pilots by 2023. Meanwhile, nearly 14,000 qualified U.S. pilots will be forced to retire over the next five years due to the federal mandatory pilot retirement age.

Rep. Roy had the following to say about the legislation:

“Following the heavy-handed stupidity of government lockdowns, travel demand has naturally skyrocketed. However, Americans are now experiencing flight delays and cancellations on an unacceptable scale due to a worsening pilot shortage. A key factor is a government-mandated retirement age that forces out thousands of our most qualified pilots every year. That's why Senator Graham and I are introducing the Let Experienced Pilots Fly Act — to immediately alleviate the consequences of this artificial shortage by raising the commercial pilot retirement age from 65 to 67.”

The Let Experienced Pilots Fly Act raises the mandatory retirement age for commercial airline pilots – which has not been raised since 2007 – from 65 to 67. Outside of raising the retirement age by two years, the bill does not make any major changes to current law governing pilot retirements.

The bill's House cosponsors include Reps Clay Higgins (LA-03), Dusty Johnson (SD-AL), Mary Miller (IL-15), Adrian Smith (NE-03), and Lauren Boebert (CO-03).

Organizations in support include the National Air Carrier Association, the Regional Airline Association, and the San Antonio International Airport.

Full text of the bill can be found here.


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