FAA need for arrest disclosures challenged

October 16, 2008

AOPA’s legal counsel is asking the FAA to justify a new requirement that applicants for a medical certificate disclose arrests in addition to the current requirement to report convictions and administrative actions involving alcohol-related driving offenses.

In an Oct. 15 letter to the FAA, AOPA attorney Kathleen Yodice asked the FAA to reconsider its decision to add the word “arrests” to question 18v of the medical application.

“At the very least, the FAA should publish guidance available to all medical applicants and aviation medical examiners as to how the disclosure of arrests will reflect upon the determination of medical fitness of applicants,” Yodice wrote.

Yodice raised concerns that reporting arrests as well as convictions could have a negative impact on innocent individuals’ ability to get medical certification. And the association notes that in some states drivers can be arrested for unpaid parking tickets or other violations that have no bearing on their medical fitness to fly.