Pilots getting special issuance medicals much sooner

June 10, 2008

The medical certificate is one of the most important pieces of paper a pilot can have. And when there’s a delay in getting that piece of paper, it can cause some anxiety.

The good news is that as of the end of May, the backlog for special issuance and deferred medicals in Oklahoma City, Okla., was down to only 600—a significant improvement from several years ago when the backlog reached into the tens of thousands. The progress is due in part to the FAA’s Document Imaging Workflow System, which now allows for efficient electronic management of the more than 450,000 medical applications and supplemental records that pour into the Aerospace Medical Certification Division each year.

During the almost nine-year project, the FAA had to convert more than 1 million hard-copy medical records into the electronic system and, at the same time, continue to process several thousand pieces of mail correspondence coming into the division every week.

For more information about the medical certification process, call AOPA’s experts at 800/USA-AOPA.