AOPA Urges Neighbors To Accept BasicMed

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AOPA President Mark Baker has written the aviation authorities of three countries whose airspace borders the U.S. asking that they accept new BasicMed medical requirements that will cover some private pilots. BasicMed goes into effect in May 1 and is expected to be adopted by many U.S. pilots but Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas don’t have parallel regulations so BasicMed pilots will not be able to fly in those countries. “Many of our members continue to contact us hoping to visit the Bahamas under these new rules,” Baker said in the letter to the Bahamian Ministry of Transport and Aviation. All three countries require an ICAO-recognized third class medical and BasicMed will not be approved by ICAO. Canada has a Category 4 medical that shares some of the features of BasicMed, including the family doctor declaration, but is much more restrictive in terms of aircraft type and operation. It is not recognized by the U.S. or ICAO.

Baker is appealing to the leading officials of the three countries to “officially recognize” BasicMed to allow holders to exercise their U.S. privileges on visits. While Baker doesn’t ask the other jurisdictions to adopt a BasicMed system themselves, he does list its selling points. “The new law was enacted by Congress because it reduces costs, bureaucracy, and most importantly maintains safety,” Baker wrote in the letter to Transport Canada.