Caucus members work to speed up medical reform

August 28, 2014

Members of the House General Aviation Caucus are asking the Department of Transportation to expedite the rulemaking process for third class medical reform.

Thirty-two members of the House GA Caucus, including co-chairs Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and John Barrow (D-Ga.), signed the Aug. 22 letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. The letter urges Foxx to expedite and complete the review process for the FAA’s draft notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) within 30 days. The NPRM can only be made available for public comment after it has been reviewed and approved by the Department of Transportation and the Office of Management and Budget.

The letter points out that those flying under the sport pilot rule have successfully operated without the need for a third class medical certificate for more than a decade and that the FAA has had ample time to study the issue.

“For the past two-and-a-half years, the FAA has extensively reviewed this issue and enthusiastic pilots in our congressional districts have become frustrated with the lack of progress on reform,” the letter states.

It also notes that the GA industry has struggled in recent years and would benefit from this move to lower costs and reduce or eliminate outdated practices.

“We appreciate that so many members of the General Aviation Caucus are actively engaged in promoting third class medical reform,” said Jim Coon, AOPA senior vice president of government affairs. “They recognize just how important this is to the GA community and the future of our industry, and, like us, they want to see pilots get relief from this cumbersome and costly process as soon as possible.”

In addition to Graves and Barrow, the letter was signed by Reps. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.), Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Bill Flores (R-Texas), Billy Long (R-Mo.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Vicky Hartzler (R- Mo.), Scott Perry (R-Pa.), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Richard Nolan (D-Minn.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.), Howard Coble (R-N.C.), Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), Tom Petri (R-Wis.), Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), and Lou Barletta (R-Pa.).

Original General Aviation Pilot Protection Act sponsors Graves and Rokita recently sent a similar letter urging Foxx to act swiftly as did Sen. Mark Begich (R-Alaska) and a coalition of seven industry groups led by AOPA.

Elizabeth Tennyson

Elizabeth A Tennyson | Director of Government Affairs and Executive Communications, AOPA

Director of Government Affairs and Executive Communications Elizabeth Tennyson joined AOPA in 1998, the same year she earned her private pilot certificate. She also holds an instrument rating and enjoys jumping out of planes almost as much as flying them.