[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 219 (Thursday, November 13, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 67346-67347]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-26783]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Aviation Administration

14 CFR Parts 61 and 121


Pilot Age Limit Crew Pairing Requirement

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of policy.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document notifies the public of the Federal Aviation 
Administration's policy regarding enforcement of the pilot pairing 
requirement in the ``Part 121 Pilot Age Limit'' final rule. Currently, 
while the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards 
allow a person between the age of 60 and 65 to serve as pilot in 
command (PIC) of an airplane with two or more pilots, in international 
commercial air transport operations, the PIC must be paired with a 
pilot younger than 60 years of age. Parts 61 and 121 of title 14, of 
the Code of Federal Regulations contain similar limitations. However, a 
recent amendment to the ICAO standards would remove this pilot pairing 
requirement. Instead, all pilots serving on airplanes in international 
commercial air transport operations with more than one pilot may serve 
beyond 60 years of age (until age 65) without being paired with a pilot 
under 60 years of age. This ICAO amendment triggers the sunset of the 
statutory authority that provides the basis for the crew pairing 
limitations in title 14.

DATES: Effective November 13, 2014. If implementation by the 
International Civil Aviation Organization of Amendment 172 to Annex 1 
is delayed, the FAA will publish notification of the date changes.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For technical questions concerning 
this document, contact Nancy Lauck Claussen, email: 
[email protected]; Air Transportation Division (AFS-200), Flight 
Standards Service, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20591; telephone (202) 267-8166. For legal 
questions concerning this document, contact Sara Mikolop, email: 
[email protected]; Office of Chief Counsel (AGC-200), Federal 
Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 
20591; telephone (202) 267-3073.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Fair Treatment of Experienced Pilots Act

    On December 13, 2007, the Fair Treatment of Experienced Pilots Act 
(Pub. L. 110-135) amended title 49 of the United States Code by adding 
section 44729. Section 44729(a) raised the age limit for pilots serving 
in operations under part 121 \1\ from age 60 to age 65, subject to the 
limitations in section 44729(c) applicable to pilots in command on 
international flights.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The statute uses the term ``covered operations'' to describe 
part 121 operations. See 49 U.S.C. 44729(b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Section 44729(c) specified a pilot pairing limitation for PICs 
serving on international flights. Specifically, section 44729(c)(1) 
provides, ``A pilot who has attained 60 years of age may serve as 
pilot-in-command in covered operations between the United States and 
another country only if there is another pilot in the flight deck crew 
who has not yet attained 60 years of age.'' The pilot pairing 
requirement in section 44729(c)(1) is consistent with the pilot pairing 
standard in ICAO Annex 1 (Personnel Licensing), Chapter 2 (Licenses and 
Ratings for Pilots), Standard 2.1.10.
    The crew pairing requirement in section 44729(c)(1) will sunset in 
accordance with section 44729(c)(2), on the date that ICAO removes the 
pilot pairing limitation in Standard 2.1.10. Section 44729(c)(2) 
states, ``Paragraph

[[Page 67347]]

[c](1), shall cease to be effective on such date as the Convention on 
International Civil Aviation provides that a pilot who has attained 60 
years of age may serve as pilot-in-command in international commercial 
operations without regard to whether there is another pilot in the 
flight deck crew who has not attained age 60.''
    During a meeting of the ICAO Council on March 3, 2014, Council 
members adopted Amendment 172 to Annex 1, Personnel Licensing. The 
amendment removes the requirement in Standard 2.1.10 to pair a pilot in 
command over age 60 with a pilot under age 60. Without the pairing 
requirement, all pilots on multi-pilot crews serving in international 
air transport commercial operations may continue to serve as long as 
they have not reached 65 years of age.\2\ The Council anticipates 
implementation of Amendment 172 to Annex 1, Personnel Licensing, to be 
November 13, 2014.\3\ Accordingly, on November 13, 2014, the pilot 
pairing limitation in 49 U.S.C. 44729(c)(1) ceases to be effective.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Amendment 172 to Annex 1, Personnel Licensing, does not 
affect the maximum age permitted for pilots of engaged in single-
pilot operations. Pilots serving in single-pilot operations must be 
below 60 years of age.
    \3\ On March 25, 2014, ICAO notified the FAA that the date of 
implementation is anticipated to be November 13, 2014, to the extent 
the majority of ICAO contracting States have not registered their 
disapproval before July 14, 2014. On October 1, 2014, the FAA 
confirmed that ICAO has not amended the implementation date of 
November 13, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

``Part 121 Pilot Age Limit'' Final Rule

    On July 15, 2009, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 
published the ``Part 121 Pilot Age Limit'' final rule (74 FR 34229) to 
conform FAA regulations to the statutory requirements in the Fair 
Treatment for Experienced Pilots Act (codified at 49 U.S.C. 44729). 
Based on the statutory authority in 49 U.S.C. 44729, the 2009 final 
rule raised the pilot age limitation from 60 to 65 and added the pilot 
pairing requirement for pilots conducting part 121 operations and other 
multi-pilot operations between or over the territory of more than one 
country using U.S. registered airplanes.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ The 2009 final rule implemented the crew pairing 
requirements by amending part 121 as well as the regulations 
applicable to pilots with certificates issued under part 61, 
including a special purpose pilot authorization issued in accordance 
with Sec.  61.77. As discussed in footnote 5, foreign air carrier 
operations and certain other operations conducted with U.S. 
registered aircraft solely outside of the U.S. must comply with ICAO 
standards in Annex 1 to the Convention on International Civil 
Aviation without further agency action.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the final rule preamble, the agency stated that it believed that 
the Fair Treatment for Experienced Pilots Act intended to harmonize FAA 
regulations with the ICAO standard pertaining to pilot age limitations 
and pilot pairing requirements, which would encompass international 
operations in addition to the part 121 operations identified by the 
Act. See 74 FR 34229, 34230 (July 15, 2009). The ICAO standard 
pertaining to pilot age limitations and pilot pairing applies to pilots 
serving in operations between his or her home state and another country 
as well as between two territories outside of his or her home state. 
Accordingly, to harmonize the agency's regulations with the ICAO 
standard and further the intent of the Act, the 2009 final rule added 
the pilot age limitations and pilot pairing requirement for pilots 
conducting operations between two international territories using U.S. 
registered airplanes.\5\ As a result, for multi-pilot operations, the 
final rule increased the maximum age for a pilot to serve and added the 
pilot pairing requirement for part 121 operations and certain other 
international air service and air transportation operations using 
airplanes on the U.S. registry (14 CFR 121.383(d) and (e), 61.3(j) and 
61.77(g)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ The agency notes that in accordance with 14 CFR 129.5(b), 
``Each foreign air carrier conducting operations within the United 
States must conduct its operations in accordance with the Standards 
contained in Annex 1 (Personnel Licensing), Annex 6 (Operation of 
Aircraft), Part I (International Commercial Air Transport--
Aeroplanes) or Part III (International Operations--Helicopters), as 
appropriate, and in Annex 8 (Airworthiness of Aircraft) to the 
Convention on International Civil Aviation.'' Additionally, in 
accordance with 14 CFR 129.1(b), operations of U.S. registered 
aircraft solely outside of the U.S. in common carriage by a foreign 
person or a foreign air carrier must also be in compliance with the 
ICAO Standards identified in 14 CFR 129.5(b). Accordingly, for these 
operations, the ICAO amendment to the crew pairing limitation 
applies without further change to title 14 of the Code of Federal 
Regulations. The FAA further notes that beginning on the date of the 
ICAO amendment implementation, as an ICAO member state, no foreign 
air carrier conducting operations under part 129 may conduct 
operations to or from the United States with any pilot who has 
reached 65 years of age. This same limitation applies to operations 
covered by 14 CFR 129.1(b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Effect of ICAO Amendment and Sunset of 49 U.S.C. 44729(c)(1) on 
Enforcement of FAA Regulations

    As discussed previously, 49 U.S.C. 44729(c)(2) states that the 
pilot pairing requirement in 49 U.S.C. 44729(c)(1) ceases to be 
effective when ICAO amends its standard to remove the pilot pairing 
limitation. Once the pilot pairing limitation of 49 U.S.C. 44729(c)(1) 
ceases to be effective, the statutory basis for pilot pairing in 
Sec. Sec.  121.383(d)(2), 121.383(e)(2), 61.3(j)(2) and 61.77(g) of 
title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations will no longer exist and 
those regulations will be contrary to 49 U.S.C. 44729. For this reason, 
beginning on the date the ICAO amendment is implemented, the FAA will 
no longer enforce the crew pairing requirements contained in14 CFR 
121.383(d)(2), 121.383(e)(2), 61.3(j)(2) and 61.77(g).
    The FAA has initiated a rulemaking to conform applicable relevant 
regulations to the statute and anticipates publication of a final rule 
in 2015.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ The FAA expects to make conforming changes to 14 CFR 
61.3(j), 61.77(g) and 121.383(d)(2) and (e)(2).

    Issued in Washington, DC, on November 5, 2014.
Reginald C. Govan,
Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2014-26783 Filed 11-12-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-13-P