FAA Medicals Now Last Longer For Younger Pilots

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Pilots who haven't turned 40 yet now have five years between medicals and the new term is retroactive in many ways. As of July 24, a third class medical for someone who hasn't reached his or her 40th birthday lasts five years, instead of three years, and a first class medical is valid for a year, up from six months. AOPA says it even reactivates some medicals that were expired on the day the new regs came into effect.

For instance, if your three-year medical had expired before July 24 it was automatically extended to five years from the anniversary date. Also, turning 40 during the new term of the medical doesn't affect the length of the term.. If you renew your medical the day before your 40th birthday, the new medical is good for either full five years or one year. "This is welcome news for the GA industry," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "AOPA supported the FAA's move that makes it easier and more affordable for younger pilots to fly."