Pilot seeks judicial review of EU flying regulations

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed July 9, 2018 10:32

Pilot seeks judicial review of EU flying regulations

A pilot is seeking a judicial review of the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) policy regarding the age related flying restriction for commercial pilots. Wayne Bayley, a former captain with TUI Airways, with nearly 26,000 hours of flying time, turned 65 earlier in 2018, which means that under EU Aircrew Regulations he is now prohibited from acting as a pilot in commercial air transport.

Non-EU countries including Australia, New Zealand and Canada do not have upper age limit restrictions on pilots; they base a pilot’s competency to fly on medical tests.

The EU Aircrew Regulations prevent commercial pilots from flying over the age of 59 unless in the cockpit with another pilot under the age of 60. Additionally, the upper limit of 64, which is the issue in this case, prohibits any flying even when alongside a younger pilot.

Simon Elcock, Partner at DMH Stallard, said: “Captain Bayley accepts that there is clearly a legitimate public interest in safety in evaluating and mitigating the risks of pilot incapacitation in commercial flying. However, he believes this risk is mitigated by the requirement of having another pilot on the flight deck under the age of 60 and appropriate medical examinations. Having a blanket ban on commercial pilots flying from their 65th birthday seems arbitrary as it does not take into account the health and fitness of the individual pilot or developments in medical science.”

DMH Stallard, on behalf of Captain Bayley, is seeking permission from the Administrative Court to proceed to a Judicial Review of the CAA and specifically to enforce the requirement that the CAA have due regard, under its statutory public sector equality duty, to the need to advance equality of opportunity to commercial pilots over the age of 64.

Captain Bayley said: “I believe that the age limit of 64 for commercial pilots is out of date. With suitable medical examinations and precautions, it is perfectly safe for pilots over the age of 64 to fly commercially with another pilot under the age of 60. There is also a clear benefit to the public and the airline industry in having very experienced pilots operating in the UK and this would also help to address the current shortage of commercial pilots, especially experienced training captains.” 

Eleanor Steed
By Eleanor Steed July 9, 2018 10:32