Third-Class Medical Reform Included In Defense Bill


Third-class medical reform could get another chance of making it to a congressional vote via a defense funding bill that moved through the Senate’s Armed Services Committee this week. The committee voted 23-3 in favor of the bill, which would authorize $602 billion for the Department of Defense and other national security programs. It includes the pilot medical changes in the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2, which would exempt private pilots flying light GA aircraft from the current third-class medical requirement. That legislation is also part of the FAA reauthorization bill the Senate approved in April, while a House version remains pending.

The Armed Services Committee includes James Inhofe, R-Okla., who spearheaded PBOR2.“Including the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 in the National Defense Authorization Act demonstrates the commitment of the Senate to getting third class medical reform passed this year,” Inhofe said in a statement. If the full Senate approves those changes as part of the defense bill in the coming weeks, it would be the chamber’s third approval of medical reform in the past five months — first as the standalone PBOR2 and then as part of FAA reauthorization, AOPA noted Friday. “We are committed to doing everything we can to see these reforms signed into law,” said Jim Coon, AOPA senior vice president of government affairs.