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Johnson and Thune introduce bills to address pilot shortage


Federal lawmakers from South Dakota have introduced bills to address a national pilot shortage.

Rep. Dusty Johnson's bill extends the required retirement age of commercial pilots by two years, from 65 to 67.

"Americans need reliable travel options. Raising the mandatory retirement age by two years is a safe and effective way to mitigate this shortage," Johnson said in a news release.

Sen. John Thune is proposing a similar bill in the Senate. Thune said in a release that the bill is a good opportunity to give training programs a chance to recover from the pandemic, and let experienced pilots fly longer.

Pilot shortages have been ongoing since the start of the pandemic and have led to flight cancellations and limited options for travelers.

The last time the age was changed was 2007, when it was raised from 60 to 65.

Marissa Brunkhorst is a junior at the University of South Dakota. She is from Hutchinson, Minnesota and is based out of the Vermillion studio.
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