GA Advocates Seek Expedited Review On Medical Changes

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Seven general aviation advocacy groups said this week they have sent a letter (PDF) to officials in the Transportation Department asking them to expedite a review of the FAA's proposed rulemaking that would change the requirements for a third-class medical. The groups asked Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to complete the review within 30 days and open the NPRM to public comment. "The FAA has moved far too slowly on medical reform," said AOPA President Mark Baker. "This is a top priority for our members and we will do absolutely everything in our power to get the government moving and keep them moving." The proposed changes would potentially save pilots about $140 million every year, according to AOPA, and the FAA would save about $1 million.

EAA Chairman Jack Pelton also signed on to the letter. "As we stated publicly and to the FAA administrator just two weeks ago at Oshkosh, the aviation community has been waiting for action on this measure -- no other issue comes close in importance to GA pilots," he said in a statement on Monday. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said at Oshkosh the proposed rule will lay out the parameters that define how a person could fly without a third-class medical certificate, but he gave no specifics as to what those parameters might be. "EAA will continue to push for this important reform that will bring common sense to medical certification and break down barriers that are holding back aviation," Pelton said. "We join the other GA groups urging Secretary Foxx to move quickly and allow the public have its say in this rulemaking process." The letter was also signed by the leaders of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Helicopter Association International, National Agricultural Aviation Association, National Air Transportation Association, and National Business Aviation Association.