Arbitrator: Air Canada pilots can’t fly past the age of 65

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A Canada Labour Code arbitrator has ruled pilots older than 65 are too old to fly because more than 5% of the time they are crossing into U.S. air space where the retirement rules are different.

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The ruling was made after a 65-year old Air Canada pilot challenged mandatory retirement rules, according to Blacklock’s Reporter .

Arbitrator Eli Gedalof said it was unreasonable to keep senior pilots employed even though there is no mandated retirement age under the Aeronautics Act.

“Air Canada cannot reasonably accommodate pilots flying past the International Civil Aviation Organization limit of age 65 without undue hardship,” wrote Gedalof.

The airline noted the U.S. has adopted the COA rule of retirement at 65 that was introduced in 2014.

“Of the flight routes flown by Air Canada in 2018 all of them either overflew U.S. airspace or required a U.S. alternate airport more than 5%of the time,” wrote Gedalof.

“In other words, a pilot past the age of 65 would have to be prohibited from flying that route at least 5% of the time and replaced by another pilot.”

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Previously, the CAO had proposed that one pilot over age 60 was allowed if the copilot was under 60 for international flights.

Air Canada said in its submission to the arbitrator that its flight crews were, in fact, aging and that 161 pilots reached age 65 from 2019-2021.


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