October 16, 2008
By AOPA ePublishing staff
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.
The inclusion of “arrests” to the reporting requirements in item 18v of the revised FAA Airman Medical Certificate Application does not change the reporting requirement under FAR 61.15(e). This regulation requires that a report be made to the FAA Security and Investigations Division within 60 days of a conviction or administrative action for an alcohol-related motor vehicle offense. An administrative action includes a suspension, denial, cancellation, or revocation of your driver’s license based on the alcohol-related motor vehicle action. If you are arrested, the 60-day reporting limit begins at the time of the conviction or driver’s license suspension, not the date of the arrest. However, if the suspension occurs at the time of the traffic stop, the 60-day clock begins then.
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