Horsham pilot’s fight to stay in the skies

Wayne Bayley
Wayne Bayley

A Horsham airline captain is leading the fight in a battle against a ruling which forces pilots to stop flying at a certain age.

Wayne Bayley marked his 65th birthday in January which for most would be cause for celebration.

However, according to European-wide rules a pilot’s commercial licence cannot be renewed after they hit the milestone.

The-father-of-two, who has been flying for more than 40 years, has now begun legal action in a bid to challenge the ruling and is calling on the public’s help to fund the campaign.

Wayne said: “I was actually sitting with my wife and a couple of mates the night before my birthday and watching the clock countdown from one minute to midnight. When you think about birthdays it’s just an orbit around the sun how absurd can it be, one extra orbit and you are no longer permitted (to fly).”

Wayne said he had passed all his medical assessments which would allow him to fly at any other age.

It was only this ruling holding him back which he claims is based on old, out of date information.

“The more I delved into it, it’s based on some quite old data and it has no justification,” he said.

“Now we have moved on. Now we are seeing people don’t have to retire.

“In the old days we had a retirement age and people stuck to it but now people are challenging it in all walks of life.”

Wayne has taken his campaign to the High Court which is currently considering his case.

However, in order to continue his fight he needs to raise £10,000 to pay for legal costs and has created an online fundraising page.

He said: “The message I would like to get out there is one of age discrimination. In 2018 is it reasonable to prevent people from having a livelihood because they are over 65?

“I enjoy flying aeroplanes and there is a shortage of pilots at the moment. If I could get the authority to give me permission to fly I could get a job quite easily.

“It seems a crying waste of a resource if airlines are short.”

To support Wayne visit https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/notoagediscrimination/

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said it would be ‘inappropriate to comment while legal action was pending’.