Special Issuance Medical Certificates Expedited

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The FAA has agreed to take some steps that should reduce the backlog and wait times many pilots experience when they need a special issuance medical certificate. With help (and pressure) from a special committee of EAA representatives, the agency has increased the number of doctors able to review special issuance applications and also expanded the list of conditions that don't require the file being sent to the FAA for review. "Eventually, nearly every pilot may face a choice between giving up flying or requesting a special issuance medical certification," EAA said in a press release. "That's why EAA has committed to finding a solution to the long, costly and sometimes exasperating process to an issue that affects or will affect many of its members." At the annual Meet the Administrator session at EAA AirVenture last summer, many of the questions directed at FAA Administrator Marion Blakey were related to special issuance medicals. EAA formed the committee and it was invited to Washington for talks last week. Although the measures promised by the FAA will provide some short-term relief, EAA is proposing even greater relaxation of medical processes, including making the examination interval for third class certificates five years instead of the current two or three.