The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has released this report on the BasicMed initiative, saying it “has kept safe pilots flying and free from unnecessary red tape and delays over the past five years.”
Based on NTSB data, the AOPA Air Safety Institute report cited a general aviation accident rate—including pilots flying on a BasicMed certificate—that is at its lowest level in decades. It has dropped consistently year-over-year since the 1990s, the Institute said. The BasicMed rule was signed by President Obama in 2016 and became available for pilots in May 2017.
AOPA President Mark Baker believes BasicMed is a significant piece of that safety puzzle. He wrote, “BasicMed is delivering on its promise: keeping pilots safe, educated, engaged—and flying. Because of this foresight, more than 66,000 pilots have successfully qualified to fly under BasicMed. Pilots, instructors, the FAA, Congress, and other key stakeholders continue to praise BasicMed, and other countries have authorized U.S. pilots with a BasicMed certification to fly in their airspace.”
For example, Mexico and the Bahamas allow U.S. pilots flying under BasicMed to operate within their airspace and use their airports.
AOPA has services available for pilots looking to qualify. The association can help pilots determine eligibility, show them how to apply and supply a checklist for review by the pilot and physician. AOPA can also help find a participating doctor and has an online medical course.