Air Line Pilots Association v. Quesada

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Air Line Pilots Association


Quesada (Administrator of the Federal Avaition Agency - FAA)


Defendant promulgated a regulation which said that no people older than 60 years old can serve as pilots on air carrier operations.


  1. Is the defendant required to give an adjudication prior to changing the licensing status of a pilot?
  2. Does the promulgation of the rule without a hearing deprive the pilots of their due process?


The court first concludes that the procedures undertaken by the FAA conformed with the rulemaking procedures laid out by the APA. Notice was given, comments were taken, and it was decided that a hearing was not necessary.

The court then decides that the regulation that was promulgated is a rule according to the APA because it looks to the future, is a policy, and affects a large number of people. If there had to be an adjudication for each pilot it would become infeasible for the FAA to implement any policy. Furthermore, since this is a rule, due process does not provide any protection.

The court also rejects the arguement that the age limit is arbitrary and discriminatory. The FAA did a lot of reserch and there is a rational relation between the research, the organic statue, and the rule.