By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
Anyone with an opinion about the recent exemption request from EAA and AOPA that would enable more pilots to skip their third-class medical renewals now has a chance to comment on the official federal docket. The two advocacy groups are encouraging pilots to post their support for the change, and posted a guide (PDF) to help with the process. "Comments should be substantive, significant, specific, or supported," the guide says. The exemption would give pilots who fly recreationally the option to participate in a recurrent online education program and self-assess their fitness to fly, instead of renewing their third-class medical.
If the FAA agrees to allow an exemption to the rules, pilots would be able to fly thousands of qualifying GA aircraft with just a driver's license, a pilot certificate, and a certificate of completion (within the last 24 months) from the online course. The course would be free to anyone, not just EAA or AOPA members, through AOPA's Air Safety Institute. Other details can be found in the groups' 41-page proposal (PDF). Last month, AVweb's Mary Grady spoke with Kristine Hartzell, AOPA's manager of regulatory affairs, for more details about plan, the strategy behind it, and what happens next. Click here to listen to the podcast.