EAA, AOPA Moving Forward With Medical Change Request

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AOPA and EAA are on track to submit a request to the FAA within the next one to two months, asking the agency to allow more pilots to fly without a medical certificate, AOPA said this week. Once the request gets to the FAA, however, the groups expect some delay, due to the recent resignation of Administrator Randy Babbitt and his replacement with an interim administrator. "AOPA and EAA strongly believe the exemption they plan to request is the next logical step in the journey begun when the FAA permitted sport pilots to use the driver's license medical standard," AOPA told AVweb this week. "Further, the associations believe the exemption will maintain or enhance aviation safety by improving knowledge and awareness of aeromedical factors through recurrent education for all pilots utilizing the exemption, and by encouraging pilots to continue flying aircraft with which they are already familiar."

The joint proposal asks the FAA to exempt pilots flying day VFR for recreation, in single-engine aircraft with not more than 180 horsepower, from the third-class medical requirement. The proposal also limits operations to aircraft with four seats or fewer, fixed gear, and a maximum of one passenger, among other limitations. To be eligible for the exemption, pilots would be required to have a current driver's license and complete a recurrent online training program on aeromedical factors and self-certification, AOPA said.