The FAA allows special issuance certification for diabetes controlled with oral medications. If controlled by diet and exercise only, your aviation medical examiner may issue a certificate at the time of examination if you have the following information:
For special issuance consideration on oral medications, you will need:
The number of available medications to treat diabetes is increasing, and with that comes increasing limitations on which drug combinations the FAA allows. The following chart lists the most common medication combinations, the acceptability with other medications, and the required observation time after starting the medication:
Acceptable with Other Oral-agents?
Acceptable with Insulin?
Acceptable with Beta-Blocker?
Acarbose , Precose
Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 Mimetics
Requires two weeks observation when added to other meds; 4 weeks with Sulfonylurea
Yes (no with a Sulfonylurea)
Acceptable only with Metformin and/or Thiazolidinedione
Requires 14 days observation when added to another medication. If both meds are started at same time, 60 days observation
*Acceptable with thiazolidinedione only
Use this address to submit your information to the FAA.
Generally, the FAA will grant six-year AASI authorizations with annual follow-up. Individual cases may require more frequent reevaluation, based upon individual history.
After initial certification by the FAA, subsequent renewals for diabetes may qualify for AME Assisted Special Issuance (AASI), a process that provides examiners the ability to issue an airman medical certificate to an applicant who has a medical condition that is disqualifying under 14 CFR Part 67.
Examiners may reissue an airman medical certificate if you provide the following:
Contact information for mailing records to the FAA.
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.