Biden admin says 66 too old for commercial pilots, as president nears 80

Buttigieg is opposed to raising the airline pilot retirement age to 67

The Biden administration says that 66 years old is too old for commercial airline pilots as President Biden nears 80 years old.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg expressed his opposition to raising the airline pilot retirement age to 67, from 65, over the weekend on "Fox News Sunday" as his boss nears octogenarian status.

While speaking on "Fox News Sunday," the transportation secretary said that the retirement ages were "there for a reason" and that he was "not going to be on board with anything that compromises safety."


Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg opposes raising the retirement age of pilots to 67. ((AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) / AP Newsroom)

"The answer is not to keep the baby boomer generation in the cockpit indefinitely," Buttigieg said.

"The answer is to make sure we have as many and as good pilots ready to take their place, to have a stronger pipeline," he continued. "We’re backing that up with FAA programs that support high school and college curriculum to get into aviation, and of course ultimately it’ll be for the airlines and those employers to hire and retain excellent talent."

FOX Business asked the White House and Department of Transportation why the administration believes 66 is too old to be a commercial pilot but 80 isn't too old to be president of the United States.

Neither answered FOX Business’ questions.

Buttigieg also said during the interview that his department is launching new investigations into airlines as flights are being canceled left and right.

President Biden

President Biden turns 80 this fall on Nov. 20.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon / AP Images)

"We have just concluded another 10 investigations on airlines on these issues and have launched another ten or so that we’re going to pursue to make sure that the consumers and passengers are protected," Buttigieg said.


Host Mike Emanuel noted that there is a shortage of pilots, and while current law requires U.S. commercial pilots to retire by age 65, lawmakers like Sen. Lindsey Graham are looking into raising this to 67. Buttigieg firmly opposed this.

Biden will turn 80 shortly after the midterm elections on Nov. 20.