Oklahoma City is also home to the FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, and medical issues - particularly the loss of a medical certificate - are a huge concern for AOPA members.
By this time in the visit, the meetings were running behind schedule, and the FAA officials were concerned about getting the AOPA team back to the airport on time.
"Agree to a 'driver's license medical' in place of a third class medical, and we can make this a very short meeting," Boyer joked with the FAA officials.
But then he reminded them that, since the team flew GA, they weren't hamstrung by an airline schedule, and the meetings could be a long as necessary to get the job done.
Eliminating a medical certificate for private pilots is still a long way off, but AOPA renewed its push for the FAA to apply the same medical standards to pilots exercising recreational pilot privileges as it now grants to sport pilots.
The team again raised the issue of the medical "Catch-22" for sport pilots - a pilot who has been denied a medical by the FAA can't fly as a sport pilot, but another pilot with the same medical condition who has not applied for a medical certificate can fly.
The FAA's medical staff acknowledged the inconsistency but reiterated what Federal Air Surgeon Fred Tilton has said: The Catch-22 was implemented by regulation and will have to be changed by regulation, and that will take a long time.
The manager of the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute's Aerospace Medical Certification Division, Dr. Warren Silberman, demonstrated the FAA's new MedXPress online medical application form for the AOPA team.
AOPA expressed concern about some of the functionality of the form and also urged the FAA to integrate AOPA's TurboMedical ® form ( see sidebar).
August 10, 2006