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ICAO have set pilot age limits for “international commercial air transport operations” as follows:

65 years old in multi-pilot operations

60 years old in single pilot operations

The US FAA and EASA apply the same rules. All ICAO states should apply the same rules.

QUESTIONS:

1. Which countries have NOT applied these rules?

I’ve seen the same list in a few places of countries which have no age limit - Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Russia, New Zealand, Senegal, Ukraine.

And then some countries which have higher age limits - Japan, China.

Are there any more countries which should be added to either of these lists?

2. These rules are for commercial air transport operations. Does that include charter flights?

Also, are there any age limit rules for private flights?

3. Who actually sets the rules for pilot age limits?

The country that issues the pilots license? The country where the aircraft is registered? Or whatever the country is that the pilot happens to be flying in?

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  • $\begingroup$ FAA max age is 60 for both single- and multipilot flights. $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    Commented May 26, 2022 at 21:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Vikki The FAA rules changed in 2007. Part 121 was raised from age 60 to age 65 for 2 pilot crew. $\endgroup$ Commented May 27, 2022 at 19:28

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I don’t have a list of which countries have what age restrictions. Each country sets its own regulations for max age and the max age for each country is constantly changing.

I believe that Charter flights for large passenger aircraft have the same rules as scheduled carriers, but rules can vary from one country to another. That is one of the many reasons ICAO exists: To standardize some rules between countries.

All ICAO member countries must apply the same ICAO rules. ICAO age rules are really exceptions which allow a pilot from one country with higher age restrictions to fly to a country with lower age restrictions. Age 65 just happens to be the max ICAO age agreed to by all ICAO member countries. Any ICAO member country can have higher or lower limits for it’s own pilots.

Australia is an ICAO member, but has no maximum age for its own airline pilots. The ICAO age 65 rule does not prevent a 67 year old Australian airline pilot from flying domestically, or to another country that has no age restrictions. The only limitation for that Australian 67 year old pilot would be to avoid the airspace of other more limiting countries.

If an Australian pilot wants to fly to a country that has a regulatory max age of 62, the Australian pilot can not be older than 65 in order to take advantage of this ICAO exception.

If Australia was not a ICAO member, then the max age to fly to that age 62 country would be 62, even though Australia has no max age. It is membership in ICAO that allows outside pilots to not have to abide by more restrictive local regulations.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Mike, very helpful! That prompted me to do some research on non ICAO states - it seems like there are none! (Maybe Lichtenstein, not sure that really counts). That essentially means that under ICAO rules, all commercial pilots everywhere should be able to fly internationally up to age 65, right? (as long as it's multi-crew) $\endgroup$ Commented May 30, 2022 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, that is my understanding. $\endgroup$ Commented May 30, 2022 at 23:43

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