FAIR TREATMENT FOR EXPERIENCED PILOTS ACT -- (House of Representatives - December 11, 2007)
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Ms. HIRONO. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Fair Treatment for Experienced Pilots Act of 2007.
This legislation will help address America's pilot shortage and improve airline safety, by enabling experienced pilots to continue flying instead of being forced into retirement.
Every week, 50 of our most experienced pilots are forced to retire as they reach the current mandatory retirement age of 60.
The Fair Treatment of Experienced Pilots Act would raise the retirement age to 65, in recognition that pilots who are 60 are still fully capable of flying. In fact, their experience often makes them better and safer pilots. This commonsense legislation includes requirements for pilots' health, training and evaluation.
Tourism is Hawai`i's major industry, and millions of visitors come to Hawai`i by air every year. We recognize the importance of the airline industry to our visitors as well as our residents who travel often for business, to visit family and friends and go on vacations.
Clearly, having experienced pilots on our nation's airlines is important to Hawai`i and America.
Many of our older pilots are also veterans who served our country in the military. So we are not only talking about the fair treatment of pilots, but also the fair treatment of veterans. Fairness requires us to allow experienced, highly capable pilots to continue flying--and not to be forced into retirement once they turn 60.
This legislation has bipartisan support because it is good policy. This legislation helps
airlines and the flying public by improving safety and mitigating the pilot shortage.
As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Subcommittee on Aviation, I want to acknowledge the leadership of Chairman Oberstar, the sponsor this bill.
I urge my colleagues to join me in support of the Fair Treatment for Experienced Pilots Act of 2007.
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