FAA Medical Reform defined

FAA Medical Reform

Today, January 11th 2017, the FAA announced its final rule on Medical Reform to go into effect May 1st. A pilot may opt to continue using their medical certificate or opt to exercise this rule instead.

It essentially means the new medical requirements are:

  • Possess a valid driver’s license;
  • Have held a medical certificate at any time after July 15, 2006;
  • Have not had the most recently held medical certificate revoked, suspended, or withdrawn;
  • Have not had the most recent application for airman medical certification completed and denied;
  • Have taken a medical education course within the past 24 calendar months;
  • Have completed a comprehensive medical examination within the past 48 months;
  • Be under the care of a physician for certain medical conditions;
  • Have been found eligible for special issuance of a medical certificate for certain specified mental health, neurological, or cardiovascular conditions;
  • Consent to a National Driver Register check;
  • Fly only certain small aircraft, at a limited altitude and speed, and only within the United States;
  • Not fly for compensation or hire.

Keep in mind the FAA can still suspend or revoke a medical certificate if it finds evidence to do so.

Under this rule the covered aircraft under FESSA:

(1) is authorized under Federal law to carry not more than 6 occupants; and (2) has a maximum certificated takeoff weight of not more than 6,000 pounds.

Section 2307(a)(8) of FESSA requires that the individual operate in accordance with the following operating requirements:

• The covered aircraft is carrying not more than 5 passengers.

• The individual is operating the covered aircraft under visual flight rules or instrument flight rules.

• The flight, including each portion of that flight, is not carried out—

• for compensation or hire, including that no passenger or property on the flight is being carried for compensation or hire;

• at an altitude that is more than 18,000 feet above mean sea level;

• outside the United States, unless authorized by the country in which the flight is conducted; or

• at an indicated airspeed exceeding 250 knots.

List of affected Subjects:

14 CFR part 61 Aircraft, Airmen, Aviation safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

14 CFR part 68 Aircraft, Airmen, Health, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

14 CFR part 91 Aircraft, Airmen, Aviation safety.

It is a 77 page document and goes through much more than I can give here. You can read the full document here until it is published or amended:


as always, trust but verify….

Happy flying,



About K0FEY

I am a member of the Eden Prairie Radio club. This is a Minnesota Ham Radio Enthusiast club and we promote experimentation and learning through the Amateur Radio hobby. Come check into a net on Sunday with us or better yet meet us in person on the 3rd Thursday of the month.
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