The FAA has formally announced new medical policy guidelines suggested by AOPA that will allow pilots flying with an FAA Special Issuance Authorization Class III medical certificate to have them reissued more quickly. The new policy grants additional authority to local designated aviation medical examiners (AMEs), allowing them to directly reissue class III special issuance authorization medical certificates to pilots with certain complex medical conditions.
These pilots may now renew their special issuance medical certificate directly with their local AME by presenting the AME with acceptable medical records. AMEs have been given authority from the FAA to reissue medical certificates based on special issuance authorizations.
This is the second enhancement of AOPA medical initiative designed to improve the airmen medical certification process. In the fall of 2000, the FAA adopted the preliminary phase of AOPA's medical certification improvement initiative, which allows pilots with a medical condition requiring a "first time" FAA class III special issuance authorization to get it from the local AME's office. "Now, many pilots can both obtain and renew their FAA special issuance authorization medical certificate through their local AME with 'same day' service instead of waiting several weeks or months for the FAA," said Lance Nuckolls, AOPA's director of regulatory and certification policy. For more information, see AOPA's medical information page.