MILITARY

US Air Force to remove height restrictions for pilots, allowing more women to serve

May 25, 2020, 9:53 AM | Updated: 9:53 am
Air force height restrictions...
Jet fighter cockpit against sky

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The US Air Force has removed its minimum height requirements for prospective pilots, doing away with a barrier that had disadvantaged women.

Previously, aspiring Air Force pilots were required to have a standing height of 5’4″ to 6’5″ and a sitting height of 34 to 40 inches. Applicants shorter than 5’4″ or taller than 6’5″ had to submit a waiver.

Though most height waivers were approved, the restrictions eliminated about 44% of the US female population ages 20 to 29, according to the Air Force.

“Studies have shown that women’s perceptions about being fully qualified for a job makes them less likely to apply, even though there is a waiver option,” Air Force mobility planner and programmer Lt. Col. Jessica Ruttenber said in a news release last week.

Historically, most of the Air Force’s aircraft had been engineered around the height of an average man, said Ruttenber, who led the effort to change the height standards. The new policy will allow the Air Force to “accommodate a larger and more diverse rated applicant pool within existing aircraft constraints,” she said.

The average height for US females aged 20 and older is 63.8 inches across all ethnic groups, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Meanwhile, the average height for US males 20 and older is 69.3 inches.

The new policy removes the height barrier “while still preserving safety of flight,” the Air Force said.

Instead of the height standards, medical and operations teams will now apply an anthropometric screening process to applicants to place them in an aircraft that they can safely fly, the Air Force said. That process could factor in a number of different human body measurements, including weight, limb lengths, breadths and body mass index.

“We’re really focused on identifying and eliminating barriers to serve in the Air Force,” said Gwendolyn DeFilippi, assistant deputy chief of staff for manpower, personnel and services.

“This is a huge win, especially for women and minorities of smaller stature who previously may have assumed they weren’t qualified to join our team.”

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Today’s Top Stories

Military

Anastasiya Sayer, 11, joins others in rallying against the war in Ukraine at the Capitol in Salt La...
Curt Gresseth

Through donations, Ukrainian woman in Idaho seeks to ease suffering of war

The war in Ukraine may have faded from the daily news but a Ukrainian-born woman now in Idaho is dedicated to collecting and sending supplies to meet the needs of suffering Ukrainians.
1 day ago
Photo credit: Utah State Office of the Governor....
Mark Jones

Governor honors Servicemember of the Year award recipients

Recipients of the 2022 Servicemember of the Year were honored Thursday by Utah Gov. Spencer Cox and the Utah Department of Veterans and Military Affairs.
27 days ago
Midshipman 1st Class Taylor Connors. Connors, 24, of Pleasant View passed away on Tuesday, June 7, ...
Mark Jones

U.S. Naval Academy identifies Taylor Connors as deceased midshipman

A Utah enrollee at the U.S. Naval Academy has died. Taylor Connors of Pleasant View died Tuesday morning in Philadelphia with family at his side, according to the U.S. Naval Academy.
28 days ago
Col Gail Halvorsen...
Mark Jones

Provo Veterans Center to be renamed after Col. Gail S. Halvorsen

A bill co-sponsored by Utah's two senators was signed into law Tuesday by President Biden that will rename the Provo Veterans Center after Col. Gail Halvorsen.
29 days ago
Carry the Load makes stops in the lead up to Memorial Day....
Amie Schaeffer

Non-profit seeks to bring meaning to Memorial Day

The non-profit, Carry The Load raises awareness of the sacrifices made by America's military, veterans and first responders.
1 month ago
An F-35A Lighting II taxis at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, May 20, 2020.  Military personnel from the...
Mark Jones

Military personnel from Hill Air Force Base returned home Monday night

Military personnel returned to Hill Air Force Base Monday evening after deploying the F-35A Lightning II to Germany.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
US Air Force to remove height restrictions for pilots, allowing more women to serve