Manchin’s amendment made the following changes that were
supported by Inhofe: In order to qualify for the new
third class medical certification, every new pilot will
be required to first obtain a medical evaluation in line
with current FAA practices.
will automatically qualify for the new certification
process under most circumstances. This ensures all
pilots have a baseline evaluation of their health and a
verification of their existing medical records—a “one
touch” medical assessment using the current FAA process.
addition, pilots qualifying for the new policy will need
to do the following:
Complete every two years a new online medical
education course that includes information related to
warning signs for serious medical conditions, mitigation
strategies for medical conditions, and the impacts of
over-the-counter and prescription medications and their
interplay with an individual’s flight capabilities.
This course takes aviation safety further than any
existing medical requirement for the general aviation
community. Pilots will need to maintain a record of
their online course certification in the logbooks.
regular examinations, at least every four years, by a
qualified physician and receive the appropriate care and
treatment for any diagnosed medical condition—both at
the outset and over the long term.
Should an individual fail to be under the care and
treatment of a qualified physician, they would not be
able to maintain the privilege of the new certification
process. Pilots will need to maintain a record of their
physician visits and a certification of any care and
treatment as directed by a doctor in the logbooks. As
part of their certification of any needed ongoing
medical care, pilots will also certify their
understanding of FAA’s existing prohibition on operating
an aircraft in the event of a medical deficiency.
a pilot who qualifies for the new third class medical
certification is clinically diagnosed with a severe
mental health disorder, a severe neurological disorder,
or a severe cardiovascular condition, the pilot would be
required to go through FAA’s special issuance process
one time to receive medical clearance to fly again,
ensuring FAA the opportunity to review the medical
documentation, order additional tests as necessary, and
make a determination on medical clearance.
a pilot has received an initial medical clearance to fly
from FAA, that individual would be able to once again
exercise flying privileges under the new third class
medical certification process.
Due to the unique nature of mental health and
neurological disorders, individuals with severe mental
health or neurological diagnoses, who have already
successfully completed the special issuance process,
will need to certify every two years that they remain
under the care and treatment of their specialist. In
addition, that individual will no longer qualify for the
new third class medical certification if their medical
specialist determines their condition has deteriorated
to the point that they are no longer fit to fly. Lastly,
if an individual’s driver’s license is revoked for any
health related reason, the third class medical
certification will be revoked.
The Manchin amendment also directs FAA to expand the
number of medical conditions that are included in the
“Conditional AMEs Can Issue” program to find ways to
streamline the current process for obtaining a special
issuance medical certificate.
On Feb. 26,
Inhofe introduced the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2,
legislation that would reform the third class medical
certification for recreational pilots and broaden the
protections provided in the original Pilot’s Bill of
Rights authored by Inhofe and signed into law in 2012.
At the time of this release, S.571 had 68 cosponsors,
surpassing a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
Statements of support for PBOR2 include: “On behalf of
the 2,700-plus pilots represented by the NetJets
Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP), I write
today to express our support for your legislation, the
Pilots Bill of Rights 2 (PBR2). As co-chairs of the
Congressional Pilots Caucus, you continue to keep issues
that affect professional and recreational pilots at the
forefront of the Congressional consciousness. Your work
on PBR2, which is highlighted by efforts to extend the
due process rights of all certificate holders facing FAA
investigation or enforcement action as well as enhancing
the Notice to Airmen Improvement Program, is a perfect
example of your proactive leadership on behalf of the
pilot community,” said Pedro Leroux, president of the
NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots (NJASAP).
“We sincerely appreciate Sen. Inhofe for his support of
our nation’s professional pilots. Our career security is
vulnerable to a wide range of factors frequently beyond
our control. This bill would provide necessary balance
to administrative proceedings and other venues in which
pilots face potential certificate denial, suspension or
revocation,” said Capt. Keith Wilson, president of the
Allied Pilots Association.
“Time and again, Sen. Inhofe has served as a tireless
advocate for professional pilots. He understands the
unique challenges that pilots face, with S.571 providing
yet another example of his thoughtful pragmatism. We
urge Sen. Inhofe’s fellow lawmakers to approve this
legislation promptly,” said Capt. Paul Jackson,
president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association.
“General aviation has been losing an average of 6,000
pilots per year over the past 10 years. Manufacturing of
new piston powered aircraft in the United States has
fallen drastically, and this critically important
amendment includes provisions that will help general
aviation move in a positive direction and provides
common sense safety protections to pilots,” said 17
aviation organizations in a letter to the Commerce
Committee in support of the modifications.
“The introduction of the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 is
great news for the general aviation community and we are
grateful to Sen. Inhofe for putting forward this
legislation that would do so much to help grow and
support general aviation activity. Pilots have already
waited too long for medical reform, so we’re
particularly pleased to see it included in this
important measure. We will actively work with Congress
to build support for this legislation that is so vital
to the future of GA and the 1.1 million jobs that depend
on it,” said Mark Baker, president of Aircraft Owners
and Pilots Association (AOPA).
“Sen. Inhofe and the other bipartisan co-sponsors in the
Senate and House understand the importance of providing
for the fair and equitable treatment of all airmen by
introducing the second Pilot’s Bill of Rights, and we
appreciate their work to move these important measures
forward. Aeromedical reform is an urgent need that is
overwhelmingly supported by our members and other
recreational pilots. We also strongly support the
common-sense provisions ensuring due process for airmen
in enforcement cases and liability protections for
designees conducting important aviation safety
activities once exclusively handled by the federal
government,” said Jack Pelton, chairman of the board for
the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).
“I applaud Sen. Inhofe for his bipartisan leadership
in introducing the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2. This
legislation includes much-needed, common-sense
reforms for the general aviation community. It is
critically important that the third-class medical
issue is resolved quickly, and this bill sends a
clear message to the bureaucracy to get it done.
Additionally, in this time of rapid communications
technology, it is unacceptable that the NOTAM system
remains broken—this bill will help to fix it.
Finally, the liability protections offered to
volunteer pilots in this bill are extremely
important to the nation as general aviation
continues to provide transportation for cancer
patients, wounded veterans, and other citizens
requiring assistance to access needed medical care,”
said Pete Bunce, president and CEO of the General
Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA).