IAOPA Pressing For Worldwide Driver’s License Medical


The International Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (IAOPA) is pressing the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to adopt the so-called driver’s license medical as the standard for all private pilots. At the recent World Assembly held in Chicago just before AirVenture 2016, the 63 delegates from 28 member nations passed the following resolution: “The IAOPA Secretary General (Craig Spence) shall work with ICAO towards formal acceptance of medical requirements for private pilots, that are based on national or state medical standards that are currently used for drivers of motor vehicles.” The ICAO standard is currently the same one now in place in the U.S. and most other flying nations and requires private pilots to have standardized medicals from designated doctors at regular intervals depending on their age. But the U.S., which has by far the most private pilots in the world, will be adopting a modified regime of medical requirements for pilots and it will not comply with ICAO standards.

As we’ve reported extensively, Congress has ordered the FAA to amend medical requirements for most private pilots to a system based mostly on self-certification and declaration. All pilots would be required to have at least one FAA medical but beyond that it would be up the pilot and his or her family doctor to determine their medical fitness. After the new rules are adopted, any U.S. pilots opting for self-certification will not be able to fly legally in other countries. The IAOPA resolution appears to go further than the current U.S. proposal in that there would be virtually no medical oversight for private pilots beyond what is required to maintain a driver’s license. Those requirements vary from state to state and country to country as well, particularly in the case of older drivers who must prove competence in some jurisdictions.