June 17, 2013
By Warren Silberman
In this piece I thought I would bring you all up on the FAA's policy guidelines on the use of antidepressants and medical certification. As you may recall, on April 4, 2010, the federal air surgeon announced the new policy guidelines for the use of a class of medications known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors). The medical certification doctors had been observing these medications and their side-effect profiles for several years. After many discussions, literature searches, and panels at major aerospace medicine meetings, they established a policy for the use of these medications. The requirements are quite involved. The FAA’s website explains the policy guidelines in detail.
Pilot Protection Services,
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Pilot Health and Medical,
The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act would allow pilots to use the driver’s license medical standard for noncommercial VFR flights in aircraft weighing up to 6,000 pounds with no more than six seats, as long as they carry fewer than five passengers, fly below 14,000 feet msl, and fly no faster than 250 knots.
The Civil Aviation Medical Association is objecting to the FAA's proposed sleep apnea policy, warning that the evidence doesn't justify the approach.
FAA personnel reallocations, terminated government contracts in an effort to save costs, glitches with progress on the Digital Imaging Workflow System, and the government shutdown have compounded to produce a larger-than-usual backlog of special issuance medicals for tens of thousands of pilots.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.