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FAA Eases Process For Some Medical Exemptions

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The FAA has expanded the list of medical conditions that can be evaluated by an aviation medical examiner instead of requiring a special issuance and an FAA review, EAA reported last week. Under a new FAA policy, applicants with arthritis, glaucoma, hypertension, pre-diabetes and several other common conditions are eligible for the simplified process. Further diagnoses are expected to be announced in the coming months, EAA said. Dr. Greg Pinnell of the EAA Aeromedical Advisory Council will explain the changes in an online webinar scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. Central Time. The webinar is free to all; you need not be an EAA member. The video will be archived on EAA's site for later viewing. Meanwhile, the leaders of both EAA and AOPA have said recently that a proposal last year to the FAA that would have eliminated the third-class medical requirement for many private pilots has stalled.

As AVweb reported last week, EAA chairman Jack Pelton said the outlook is "pessimistic" for the exemption to get passed, but he will continue working to change the third-class requirements. Later in the week, AOPA President Craig Fuller also said support for the exemption is flagging. "High-level FAA staffers told us the exemption was not a priority for the agency," he said. More than 16,000 pilots and organizations have filed comments online about the proposal.

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