FAA plans to extend medical certificate exception for pilots | New


The Federal Aviation Administration will likely extend its medical certificate exception indefinitely, after government coronavirus lockdown orders made it difficult for pilots to get appointments with certified aviation forensic scientists.

In March, the US regulator issued a policy update stating that for three months it would take no enforcement action against pilots flying with expired medical certificates. This was to end on June 30 and only applied to pilots whose medical certificates had expired between March 31 and June 30.

Now, the organization says it will likely extend that deadline as the pandemic drags on.

“An extension is underway,” Deputy FAA Administrator Dan Elwell said in an FAA online forum on June 18. He didn’t say for how long.

“We hope that very soon we will unravel these extensions and get people back, get their change, get their medicals,” he added. But for now, he said, the agency recognizes that it would be nearly impossible for pilots to catch up with those requirements by the end of this month.

Earlier this year, trade groups like the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and Airlines for America (A4A) urged the FAA to allow regulatory flexibility, saying the pandemic has made meeting certain requirements difficult, dangerous and in some cases impossible.

The AOPA noted at the time that many flight schools had temporarily ceased operations, testing facilities had closed, and some FAA “designated pilot examiners” had canceled appointments due to orders. shelter in place.

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