Trivia Tester : Thank You, Admiral Quesada… (thbbbtt!)

Airline pilots must retire at age 60. What is the mandatory retirement age that generally applies to air traffic controllers?

  1.  65
  2. 70
  3. also 60
  4. 56

Answer: It’s D. Controllers and their “first-line” supervisors generally have a mandatory retirement age of 56. (However, there’s a bit more to it.) This is most likely for the same reason that most mathematicians throughout history have all done their best groundbreaking work before the age of 30: spatial thinking ability and quantitative cognitive abilities in general show a pronounced decline with age. According to the Department of Labor, air traffic controllers can retire at an earlier age and with fewer years of service than other Federal employees; controllers are eligible to retire at age 50 with 20 years of service, or after 25 years of active service at any age. But there is a mandatory retirement age of 56 for controllers who manage air traffic. However, Federal law provides for exemptions to the mandatory age of 56 (up to age 61, for controllers having exceptional skills and experience).